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Monday, September 04, 2006

Vande Mataram Controversy: It is Nationalism vs. Nation of Islam

There is a big hullabaloo these days over ‘compelling’ Muslim pupils in schools including state-funded Muslim schools to sing Vande Mataram, India’s National Song to commemorate the song's centenary on September 07. Many Muslims have taken this as anti-Islam, which has hardly come as a surprise to me.

The Muslims regard their religion as a nation – Nation of Islam (not the US separatist political party founded by Wallace Fard Muhammad in 1930) to be more precise. A nation sans boundaries where there is no place for nationalism or patriotism when it comes to the countries they live in. For them, they are a nation without any boundaries, fellow Muslims are fellow citizens, the Koran is their constitution and they cannot show allegiance to any other nation.

For once, I think that this time the Indian Right (read BJP and Shiv Sena) is right. The Nation of Islam is just a fantasy where as India is a reality. If this current trend of migration to the Radical Islamic School of Thought is not curtailed, I am afraid this will most certainly encourage civil disobedience by Muslim zealots and encourage anti-national activism. We are already seeing a substantial increase in the later here these days.

The Shahi Imam of Delhi Jama Masjid Syed Ahmad Bukhari is a fanatic, a dangerous man to remain within the boundaries of the Indian Union. If he cannot follow the writ of the country and is allergic to accept parts of the Constitution of India or show allegiance to the Indian nationalism, he must be declared a persona non grata by the government at once. I would also like him to face the cases in various states like Bihar where he is wanted for criminal activities. Like the proverbial dog’s tail, he is never going to change his mindset, come what may.

Vande Mataram is the momentary excuse to defy the country’s collective wishes. The meaning is much deeper. It means any country’s individual laws, pride, identity etc, just as Emir Osama bin Laden is preaching today, should not bind Muslims.

The Muslims in India have special laws. The Shah Bano case made Rajiv Gandhi commit one of the most despicable acts of doctoring the Constitution. Muslim men can also enjoy polygamy (they can take up to four wives). They have personal law boards and fatwas mean more than national laws.

Would the Muslims who support such things as above be open to the idea that when it comes to dealing with Muslim criminals they are tried under the Shariat laws? If yes, we can see a Muslim thief’s hand chopped off, a Muslim rapist flogged in public and executed, an adulterer stoned to death etc.

I would rather suggest the above happens, only then the zealots and the anti-nationals like Bukhari would know that real pleasures lie on the other side of the fence and radical Islam is dull and boring unless you have guns and rocket launchers to toy around with like the Taliban.

Muslims must rise and take this as the final opportunity to show allegiance to the country and show that India’s pride is their pride if they are interested to wash the stigma of being perpetually dogmatic and anti-nationals.

Some may believe that they have nothing to prove (which is what I believe too), but they must not forget that their cause has been made much weaker and their faith hijacked by scoundrels like Bukhari.

Vande Mataram!


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