I avidly read the article “India’s cultural pluralism its best defence” by Malini Parthasarathy (Nov. 5). Vande Mataram was a unifying force during the freedom movement. Muslims should understand that we are all children of mother India who is to be worshipped.
The Jamiat resolution that the singing of Vande Mataram is un-Islamic has come in handy for the BJP, which remained dormant for quite some time owing to internal squabbles, to resume minority-bashing. Cultural pluralism is the cornerstone of secular democracy. Any attempt to link patriotism to the singing of Vande Mataram is irrational. Muslims draw their right to assert their cultural identity from the Constitution.
As pointed out by Ms Parthasarathy, India’s cultural pluralism is its best defence. But what we see in India is an over-emphasis on minority sentiments by our intellectuals and some politicians. Such politics will land us in deep trouble.
The non-mention of god, as pointed out by Ms Parthasarathy, was the very reason for adopting Jana Gana Mana as the national anthem. Patriotism cannot and should not be related to faith or lack of it in god, as reflected in the worship of mother in Vande Mataram.
Having said that and also taking into consideration that no one is obligated to sing Vande Mataram, it is imperative that the Muslim ulema ensure that they do not allow their attention to be diverted from poverty, universal education and social uplift of Muslims, by frittering away their energies as well as that of the nation on frivolous issues.