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Singing ‘Vande Mataram’ no taboo for Muslim BJP leaders

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BJP’s relation with minorities improving, claims Shahnawaz Hussain: Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, president of Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP), Minorities Morcha, has claimed that the relations between BJP and the minorities are changing for the better which bode well for the party .... Read Full

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Bhopal: Singing "Vande Mataram" is no taboo for Muslim leaders associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP). This was amply on display when BJP's Minorities Morcha (Cell) National Executive Committee, (NEC) meeting got underway here on Wednesday and the executive members had no hesitation to exercise their vocal chords to render "Vande Mataram" to exhibit their loyalty to the party.


BJP Minorities Morcha president Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, a sitting member of Parliament from Bhagalpur in Bihar, without batting an eye-lid proudly declared: ''Vande Mataram" was sung by one and all at the beginning of the Morcha's National Working Committee meeting here today.''


Shahnawaz, who is here to attend the BJP Minorities Morcha NEC meeting, stated the above while answering a query that certain Muslim organisations are strongly opposed to the rendering of "Vande Mataram", the national song of India composed by Bankimchandra Chatterjee (Chattopadhyay) in an inspired moment in 1876.


It may be pointed out here that it is generally believed that the concept of Vande Mataram came to Bankimchandra Chatterjee when he was still a government official under the British Raj. Around 1870, the British rulers of India had declared that singing of "God Save the Queen" would be mandatory. He wrote it in a spontaneous session using words from two languages he was expert in, Sanskrit and Bengali.


However, "Jana Gana Mana" was chosen as the National Anthem of independent India. "Vande Mataram" was rejected on the grounds that Muslims, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs, Arya Samajis and others who opposed idol worship felt offended by its depiction of the nation as "Mother Durga"—a Hindu goddess. Muslims also felt that its origin as part of "Anandamatha", a novel they felt had an anti-Muslim message.


When pointed out that the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh Government's School Education Department, on the directives of its Minister Ms Archana Chitnis, was on the verge of starting the recitation of a "Bhojan Mantra" prior to the mid-day meal at schools, Shahnawaz parried the question and refused to comment on the grounds that he had no knowledge of the matter.


Pervez Bari is a Bhopal based journalist. He can be contacted at










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