Saturday, November 14, 2009

SOUL OF NATION: Vande Matram


Vande Mataram: Soul of our Nation and Nationalism
http://www.vijayvaa DisplayArticle. aspx?id=915

Vande Mataram
Mother, I salute thee!
Rich with hurrying streams,
Bright with orchard gleams,
Cool with thy winds of delight,
Green fields waving Mother of might,
Mother free.
Glory of moonlight dreams,
Over thy branches and lordly streams,
Clad in thy blossoming trees,
Mother, giver of ease.
Laughing low and Sweet!
Mother I kiss thy feet,
Speaker sweet and low!
Mother, to thee I bow.
 - Sri Aurobindo (from his English translation of Vande Mataram)

Muslim Clergy against Vande Mataram 

During the centenary of (singing of) Vande Mataram in September 2006, Darul Uloom, the foremost seminary of Muslims at Deoband, gave a decree that the National Song is un-Islamic and that Muslims must not sing it. This decree was upheld on 3 November 2009 by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, which passed a resolution saying, "The fatwa of Darul Uloom opposing recitation of Vande Mataram is correct."

The Home Minister, who went there on an invitation from Jamiat, condemned the demolition of the disputed structure over Bhagwan Ram's Janmasthan. Though the disputed structure was not in use by the Muslim community, the secular brigade has been repeatedly lying that it was a 'Masjid' and Chidambaram repeated the same lie and described the demolition of this religious affront to the Hindu community as "a manifestation of religious fanaticism and an act of extreme prejudice."  

While Chidambaram praised the Darul Uloom for issuing a fatwa against terrorism in February 2008, he conveniently kept quiet on the Jaipur, Bangalore and Ahmedabad blasts and the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack which happened after issuance of the so-called fatwa.  Although the continuing terror acts proved that the fatwa was nothing but the Islamic game of "Taqiya", Chidambaram sought ulema cooperation in the fight against terror. The Jamiat for its part condemned suicide bombings and killings of innocents as 'unpardonable sin', but termed "Jihad" a "constructive phenomenon" without explaining what 'constructive' means. 

As the country has seen enough of the continuing acts of Jihad and plays of Taqiya, the onus lies on the government in general and Home Ministry in particular, to rid this nation of terror attacks in future. But the fatwa on Vande Mataram deserves a candid discourse, as it could be an encouragement to Jihad and Taqiya in the process of converting India to Darul Islam.

Although the Home Minister said he was not aware of the passing of the resolution upholding the fatwa against Vande Mataram, it is pertinent to note that he had not commented on it even after learning of it. He had the 'courage' to call the disputed structure a 'Masjid' and its demolition a manifestation of religious fanaticism, but not the courage to call the fatwa against Vande Mataram as religious fanaticism, an attitude typical of Nehruvian Secularism and minority appeasement, which started in the 1930s to demean the sacred Vande Mataram.   

History, Significance and Sanctity of Vande Mataram

{From "Bandemataram Album" republished by Mrs. Padma Sundaram, Ennappadam Educational Publishers, Chennai-85 as designed by Sri Thanga Kamaraj, Chennai, based on the 1923 publication by Shiva Narayana Mishra Vaidya of Prakash Pustakalaya, Kanpur, containing beautiful paintings drawn by Sri. K. Tejendrakumar Mitra illustrating some of the glorious Sanskrit words from the song} 

November 7, 1876: - The song Vande Mataram was written and composed and dedicated to the Motherland by Sri Bankin Chandra Chatterjee (1838-1894) at the Kantal Pada village of Bengal. It appeared in his novel "Anandamath," published in 1882. 

1896: - Rabindranath Tagore sang Vande Mataram at the Calcutta Congress Session. It was the first political occasion when Vande Mataram was sung in chorus. Tagore also set the song to music. 

1901: - The Indian National Congress rehearsed the singing of Vande Mataram in 1901 under the guidance of Sri Dakina Charan Sen, who also sang it in another session of the Congress in Calcutta.

1905: - Vande Mataram became the national battle cry for freedom from British oppression, especially after the launching of Swadeshi Movement (7 August 1905) and the partition of Bengal (16 October 1905) by Lord Curzon.

Smt. Sarala Devi Chaudharani, niece of Rabindranath Tagore, sang Vande Mataram at the Benares Congress Session, despite the ban on its singing by the British Government.

Matangani Hazra's last words were Vande Mataram when shot dead by Crown Police.

1906: - Lala Lajpat Rai, Lion of Punjab, started a journal called Vande Mataram from Lahore.

In March 1906, the Barisal Parishad was created and a Provincial Conference of Bengal held at Barisal. The delegates defied the ban imposed by the government and took out a massive procession through the city chanting Vande Mataram. They braved lathi-charges shedding blood and the conference came to an abrupt end.

On 7 August 1906, Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) started his paper Vande Mataram, which became an immortal and unforgettable newspaper in the history of Indian Journalism. 

1907: - Madame Bhikaiji Cama (1861-1936) unfurled the tricolour in the Congress of the Second International at Stuttgart. The Tricolour (Green, Saffron and Red) National Flag of India was designed by her and her friends in 1905 bearing the immortal words of Bande Mataram.   

August 11, 1908: - 19 year old Kudiram Bose was hanged and he became immortal with the song of Vande Mataram on his lips. 

August 17, 1909: - 26 year old Madan Lal Dhingra (1883-1909) was hanged at Pentonville Prison in London. He became immortal with Vande Mataram on his lips. 

1915: - Indian National Congress adopted the singing of Vande Mataram as a sacred tradition to begin every session. 

1927: - Gandhiji, who often extolled the grandeur of Vande Mataram, said the song held up before one's mind the picture of the whole "Bharat one and indivisible." 

1943 to 1945: - Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose made Vande Mataram the song of his Indian National Army and it was regularly broadcast from his Singapore radio station.  

Ever since Vande Mataram became the battle cry of the freedom movement, hundreds of eminent nationalist leaders and millions of freedom fighters have sacrificed their lives for this nation by chanting the sacred mantra Vande Mataram as their last words. 

Sadly and unfortunately, as the forces of appeasement (read moderates) took over the reins of Indian National Congress, the forces of nationalism ("extremists" as called by the 'moderates') started waning from the scene and the Indian National Congress started viewing Vande Mataram as an "irritant" in the path of winning over Muslims. The end result was that the party failed to declare Vande Mataram, the soul of the freedom movement, as the National Anthem and opted for "Jana Gana Mana". It also adopted Mohammed Iqbal's Sare Jahan Se Accha as an associate national anthem, just to satisfy the Muslims. 

Fortunately, the Constituent Assembly had the sense to make the final decision of giving equal importance to both "Vande Mataram" and "Jana Gana Mana". While presiding over the Constituent Assembly on 24 January 1950, Dr. Rajendra Prasad stated, "The composition consisting of words and music such as Jana Gana Mana is the National Anthem of India, subject to such alterations as the Government may authorize as occasion arises, and the song Vande Mataram, which has played a historic part in the struggle for Indian freedom, shall be honoured equally with Jana Gana Mana and shall have equal status with it. I hope this will satisfy members".  

Impact of Nehruvian Secularism

As the 'Indian National Congress' metamorphosed into the Nehru family's fiefdom, the National Song was sidelined and Sare Jahan Se Accha given prominence. Under the successive leadership of the Nehru family members, the appeasement of minorities increased resulting in the Muslim Clergy developing the courage to issue a fatwa against the spirit of nationalism and the Congress party maintaining cowardly silence. 

The Nehru family's hold over the nation for more than five decades led to the decline of 'nationalism' which was rapidly replaced by 'secularism' leading to blatant appeasement of minorities and resulting in the majority being treated as secondary citizens in their own land. Following Congress footsteps, all the other political parties started pandering to minorities, focusing on communalism, casteism, separatism, linguistic chauvinism and social divisions, showing scant regard to nationalist principles.     

Over time, society got divided along communal, caste and linguistic lines forgetting the concept of unity in diversity. The continued Macaulay System of Education played a role in the deterioration of nationalist values. Notwithstanding the sidelining of Vande Mataram, even Jana Gana Mana lost its relevance as many states developed 'state anthems' which eclipsed the national anthem. In Tamil Nadu, the state anthem gets more prominence, and the national anthem has become passé even in official functions. Most ministers, MLAs and bureaucrats do not know the national anthem and can't sing it completely.

UPA and National Spirit

Lalu Prasad Yadav (and his wife Rabri Devi), who disrespected the national anthem in an official function in Bihar, served as Railway Minister in UPA-I. The NCERT under Arjun Singh came out with school textbooks terming Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa as an 'insane person' and Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Aurobindo as 'terrorists'. 

The centenary of Vande Mataram singing turned out to be a farce under UPA in 2006. Arjun Singh issued a circular to all schools to sing the first two stanzas compulsorily, but withdrew it immediately after protests from Muslim organizations. When the Congress party celebrated the centenary, both Sonia and Manmohan did not attend the function, thereby insulting the national song. Adding insult to injury, during INC's 122nd founding day celebrations, Congressmen in an exhibition of ugly sycophancy sang 'Vande Mataram' when Sonia was entering the venue! The party made a mockery of 'Dandi March' in 2005 during the anniversary of 'Salt Satyagraha'. After an official function in Oragadam, Kanchipuram district in 2006, Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress parivar left the stage without the recital of the National Anthem.

The UPA came out with a 'scintillating historical' decision outlined in the 11th Five Year Plan approved by the National Development Council. The plan document under the head 'Madrassas / Maktabs' said, 'They (Madrassas) will receive a 'special grant' to celebrate National Festivals like Independence Day and Republic Day.' Ironically, this plan document was released after Darul Uloom declared Vande Mataram un-Islamic and that Muslims must not sing it. These 'Religious Schools' operating in our country enjoy freedom of religion and minority rights, but refuse to celebrate our national festivals, hoist our National Flag and sing our national song 'Vande Mataram'! These schools are allegedly notorious for feeding religious fundamentalism and breeding fanatics who become extremists or helpers of terrorism. 

Unfortunately the UPA, instead of closing these institutes of bigotry or correcting and streamlining them authoritatively, gave them 'grants' (!) to celebrate national festivals which is their constitutional duty! When a government can make the hoisting of National Flag mandatory, can't it make celebrations of national festivals mandatory? If the concerned institutes are not interested in respecting our nation, national flag and national song, why should the government beg them by giving grants? Why can't it close those institutions?  

Given this background, it is small wonder that the present UPA government had not bothered about the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind's resolution confirming the fatwa against Vande Mataram. It is no surprise that no political party other than BJP has shown the courage to condemn it. 


RSS founder Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar was expelled from school in Nagpur for participating in the Vande Mataram agitation. Later in 1925 he founded the RSS and the organization played a vital role in reviving the spirit of nationalism throughout the country. 

When the Madhya Pradesh Government passed a GO allowing employees to take part in RSS activities, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi wrote a letter to the then President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam blaming RSS of stoking religious prejudices and showing 'concern' about the spirit of Constitution. Her 'patriotism' couldn't create even a ripple in the political arena, as the entire nation was aware of the activities of the RSS.    

Darul Uloom's Fatwa unconstitutional

Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind said, "We love our country, but cannot elevate it to the status of Allah, the only one worshipped by Muslims…The fatwa of Darul Uloom is correct." Muslim politicians across the country prostrate before their political masters and bow before their party Chiefs, but will not allow the community to sing Vande Mataram saying Islam prohibits praising others except Allah. If this is not hypocrisy, what is? 

Jamiat also said, "The reference to nation as mother and an ode to motherland was un-Islamic and should not be deliberately raised for causing communal discord and law and order".  When it comes to praising the Mother Nation, it is totally irrelevant if one is Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Communist, or Atheist. It is regrettable that the Clergy forces Muslims to refrain from singing even the first two stanzas (which have no reference to Hindu Goddesses) thereby losing an opportunity to express solidarity with the rest of the country. If Muslims in Germany and France can sing the respective national anthems praising their countries as 'Father Nation,' why can't Indian Muslims sing two lines of Vande Mataram hailing the Mother Country?

The Constitution gives equal status of National Anthem to Vande Mataram. Hence the fatwa issued against the national song by the Muslim Clergy is unconstitutional and smacks of anti-nationalism.  

VANDE MATRAM com/watch? v=s1UgUpKz3Lc&feature=player_ embedded

" Bharat  Mata  Ki  Jay "


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