Hindu Saints waking up to the world challenges

August 23, 2006

Recently, due to extraordinary efforts of Sangh Parivar, more and more spiritual leaders of Hindu Society have woken up to the reality of intolerance and prejudice of non-Hindus towards Hindus. If the following statement is true then I would say, Sangh Parivar has indeed brought about a much needed change in the mindset of Hindu Spiritual leaders.

Hindu saints dismayed at opposition to ‘Vande Mataram’


Dayananda Saraswati, Swami Chidanand Saraswati and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and several other saints have also instructed all Hindu religious places and congregations to start singing the Vande Mataram, according to a press release issued by the Art of Living Foundation.

“Religious intolerance has to stop somewhere. Today, it’s Vande Mataram, tomorrow it could be refusing to say ‘Namaste’ or seeking the removal of the saffron colour from the national flag. This will harm the composite culture and social fabric of India,” the release quoted them as saying.

The song had come in for controversy in recent days with several Muslims, including the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, saying that the song was “against Islamic beliefs”.

I have doubt about the authenticity of this post, because I don’t see any such thing mentioned on the Art of Living website.

Update: A wonderful reply to the whole controversy by Chowdhary Mateen Ahmed Chairman, Delhi Wakf Board & MLA. Posting in full since it is not achieved.

How is Vande Mataram any different from Saare Jahan Se Achcha?

The problem with our polity is that we give a lot of importance to ulema who meddle in politics. The other day Ahmed Bukhari (Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid) said that Vande Mataram was un-Islamic but he had no problems singing “Saare Jahan Se Achcha Hindustan Hamara”. Now will somebody ask the Imam to explain how the patriotic imagery in Vande Mataram is any different from “Saare Jahan Se Achcha Hindustan Hamara?”
If giving your country the status of mother is un-Islamic then calling Hindustan a land better than Mecca too is un-Islamic. Shahi Imam’s exhortations are the outpourings of a vitiated mind. He and his like have always thrived by fishing in troubled waters.

Is my belief in Islamic tenets so weak that singing the National Song or the National Anthem would endanger my faith? In fact, I become a better Mussalman by loving my country, by protecting her prestige and if I meet martyrdom in her defence, Allah would ensure that I get Jannat (heaven).

The likes of Shahi Imam give Hindutva forces the handle to beat Muslims with. Why should we fault Ashok Singhal (Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader) for giving anti-Muslim statements when Shahi Imams say things which give an impression that Muslims are less patriotic than the Hindus?

Media is also responsible for creating such an impression by repeatedly giving publicity to speeches by Imam and other bigots like him. The voices of secular, patriotic and liberal Muslims never get a forum. We live in a liberal society where we are encouraged to know about each other’s religion. Does a Hindu become “ashudh” by going to a Christian missionary school? Don’t the Muslim children going to Christian schools sing psalms from the Bible in the morning assembly? Do they come back home losing their faith? Then how can singing Vande Mataram be un-Islamic?

How come recitation of “Ma Tujhe Salam” composed by AR Rehman is secular and singing Vande Mataram un-Islamic? The whole issue is being politicised by a section of Muslim leaders, who have no janadhar (base) in their constituencies. I am sure a majority of Muslim leaders who are raising objections to Vande Mataram are not even aware of the meaning of the song. Islam asks you to love your nation, your matribhoomi (birth-place) and be a patriot.

13 Responses to “Hindu Saints waking up to the world challenges”

  1. Hiren Says:

    Nobody can be stopped from singing the song and nobody should be forced to sing it either. A few years ago, BJP had also started using telephones for cahnting the name Vande Mataram.

    Just coining of slogans and sayings such things do not make anybody genuinely patriotic from within.

  2. S Jain Says:

    Hiren, coining of slogans and sayings creates a condusive atmosphere. I completely agree with you these will not make “Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid” a genuinely patriotic. But the large question here is, should we stop singing because few Muslims claim that their religion is bigger the nation. Should we remove the saffron color from the Indian flag because this color cloths were wore by people fighting against the Muslims during the Mughal period? Should we?

    Yes, nobody should be forced to sing the song, but is it really the right thing for Indian Gov’t to say that National Songs are optional. That they don’t mean anything, they are not representative of our nation, that the people who laid their life singing Vande Mataram during Indian freedom struggle were terrorist? Is that what you really believe too?

    Kids may not realize immedietly realize the sentiments of Vande Mataram, but they will know that something like this exists and they will find out its meaning one day or another.

  3. kanha Says:

    @hiren
    what a pity?????
    people do’nt know the value of songs and slogans……….history knows who is right

  4. Ramu Meda Says:

    Vande Mataram and the Muslims in India
    By A. Faizur Rahman
    http://islamicvoice.com/September2006/Controversy/index.php#VandeMataramandtheMuslims
    (The writer is a Peace Activist & Executive Committee Member, Harmony India)

    It becomes imperative to analyse the objections raised by the Muslim community against the recital of the Vande Mataram in India .

    The controversy over the singing of Vande Mataram has once again threatened to divide the country on communal lines. The refusal of the Muslims to sing this song seems to have angered the Hindutva ideologues, who, without giving them an opportunity to explain their position, have accused them of being anti-national. Hence, it becomes imperative to analyse the objections raised by the Muslim community against the recital of the Vande Mataram. Islam, being a monotheist religion, forbids the apotheosis of any deity, animate or inanimate, except God, the Supreme Creator. In fact, ascribing divinity or any attribute of divinity to even Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) is considered an act of blasphemy negating the very purpose of Islam, that is, to promote the concept of unity of mankind through the worship of a common Creator.

    In this context, those opposed to the Muslim point of view should know that, Bankimchandra Chatterjee’s Vande Mataram contains verses which are in direct conflict with the beliefs of Islam. For instance, the fourth stanza of the song addresses motherland India as, “Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen, with her hands that strike and her swords of sheen, Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned……..” When a Muslim sings these words he is forced to equate his country with the Hindu goddesses Durga and Lakshmi, thereby deifying the physical land of India and beseeching it to “arise and save.” This militates against the concept of Tawheed (oneness of God) according to which a Muslim cannot supplicate to anyone except God. Therefore, just as one cannot force non-Muslims to recite the Quran in their gatherings, it would be most unfair to force the Muslims to violate their Scriptural injunctions by questioning their patriotism.

    The religious predicament of the Muslims was understood in the right spirit decades ago by Jawaharlal Nehru. In October 1937, when the Congress Working Committee met in Calcutta under the Presidentship of Nehru, it adopted a resolution which said, “The Committee recognizes the validity of the objection raised by Muslim friends to certain parts of the song. While the Committee has taken note of such objection insofar as it has intrinsic value, the Committee wishes to point out that the modern evolution of the use of the song as part of National life is of infinitely greater importance than its setting in a historical novel before the national movement had taken shape. Taking all things into consideration, therefore, the Committee recommend that, wherever Bande Mataram is sung at national gatherings, only the first two stanzas should be sung, with perfect freedom to the organisers to sing any other song of an unobjectionable character, in addition to, or in the place of, the Bande Mataram song.” (Quoted by A.G. Noorani in the Frontline, Jan 2-15, 1999).

    Based on the above resolution, the Hindutva brigade wants the Muslims to sing the first two stanzas arguing that there is nothing wrong in bowing to the motherland. This is a deliberate attempt to mislead the minority community, because, many Hindus elevate “Bharat Mata” or Mother India, to the status of a goddess as clearly seen in the traditional depiction of India as a lady dressed in a saree holding a red flag. In fact, in 1936, a Bharat Mata temple was built in Benaras by Shiv Prashad Gupt and was inaugurated by none less than Mahatma Gandhi. Then in May 1983, Swami Satyamitranand Giri founded a Bharat Mata temple in Haridwar which has a statue of Bharat Mata holding a milk urn in one hand and sheaves of grains in the other. According to the temple guide book, “the temple serves to promote the devotional attitude towards Bharat Mata, something that historians and mythological story-teller may have missed.” (Mc Kean, Lise. “Bharat Mata: Mother India and Her Militant Matriots”, in Devi : Goddesses of India, edited by John S.Hawley and Donna M.Wulff, Motilal Banarasidass Publishers, Delhi, 1998).

    Moreover, not many know that Bharat Mata poojas are regularly performed all over India. The Hindu, on Jan 3, 2005 reported one such pooja by the BJP activists in a temple in Mahabubnagar, Andhra Pradesh, during which there was a clash between the BJP and CPI (M) workers. The Chandigarh Tribune reported on April 13, 2002 that the employees of the Govt. Medical College and Hospital in Chandigarh performed the pooja of Bharat Mata “as per the Indian culture.” Also, the largest Hindu website dedicated to the freedom movement, http://www.freeindia.org, has posted an ancient Sanskrit Hindu verse glorifying Mother India as a goddess. It reads, “Ratnakaradhautapadam Himalyakirtitinim (I) Brahmara-jarsiratnamdhyam vande Bharatamataram (II)”. When translated it means, “I pay my obeisance to mother Bharata, whose feet are being washed by the ocean, who wears the mighty Himalaya as her crown, and who is exuberantly adorned with the gems of traditions set by Brahmarsis and Rajarsis.”

    The aforementioned facts prove deification of India by the Hindus, which means that the Muslims, by singing the first two stanzas of the Vande Mataram, would be violating the basic tenet of Islam, that is Tawheed. It cannot be argued that saluting the motherland is harmless because the fourth stanza clearly identifies the land of India mentioned in the first stanza with goddess Durga and Lakshmi, and therefore, any salutation to motherland tantamounts to bowing before Hindu goddesses – an act unthinkable for a Muslim. The Muslims respect the right of the Hindus to worship any deity, but they cannot be forced to commit un-Islamic acts.

    Another reason for the Muslims’ reluctance to sing the Vande Mataram is the fact that the novel Anandamath by Bankimchandra Chatterjee, in which it was first published, glorified the ethnic cleansing of the Muslims. As an example the following passage may be quoted. “The rural people ran out to kill the Muslims while coming across them. In the night, some were organised in groups and going to the Muslim locality, they torched their houses and looted their everything. Many Muslims were killed; many of them shaved their beards, smeared their bodies with soil and started singing the name of Hari. When asked, they said, we were Hindus. The frightened Muslims rushed towards the town in group after group. ( pages 161-162 of Abbey of Delight, the English translation of Anandamath , by Arabinda Das).

    In any case, the Vande Mataram is a national song and not the national anthem of India, hence refusal to sing it cannot be construed as showing disrespect to the country. Given the fact that the Muslims have been singing the Jana Gana Mana ever since India attained independence, and the fact that they have laid down their lives for the country during and after the freedom struggle, their nationalist spirit cannot be doubted even for a minute. It must be understood that India being a secular democracy, every community has the right to profess and practice its faith so long as it does not challenge the unity and integrity of the nation, and therefore, the coercive imposition of the beliefs of one religion over another would only result in communal disharmony.

  5. dceaxvfqgtwpa@mailinator.com Says:

    India gained independence in 1947. You cannot quote statements relevent to 1937 regarding singing vandemataram and objections to it by some national leders. All muslims who wanted to leave india have left in 1947. Those who remained here or born after 1947 or converted or what ever, should accept vandemataram. laxmi or sarswathi are representative of wealth and education. they are not something unwanted to anyone even muslims. so respecting them for the value as materiel benefits will not harm any human being.

  6. Shyam C Sharma Says:

    Sangh Parivar ko Vadhai on their efforts to wake the world and take Hidndus to all corners of the world.
    I am Hindu and was active member in Nairobi, Kenya under the my Guru and my employer Shri Navin K. Shah.
    And met Param Pujya Shri Swami Satmitranandji
    Giriraj Maharaj in Mombasa,Kenya sometime in April 1990 and visited Bharatmata temple in Haridwar.
    I apperciate if I can get Swamiji’s e-mail address, phone number or website to contact him.
    Hindu Dharm is really apperciable through ASTHA Internatinal channel and I watch discourses regularly and saw Swamiji with Shri Rameshbhai who is doing Bhagawat Katha in Bharatmata temle,Haridwar these days
    Sangh Parivar and Hindus of all India Koti Koti Parnam
    shyamneelamrohini

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  8. Sharad Mistry Says:

    We are in turbulent historic times. Followers of one religion are threatening their brethern of other religion of their lives.And saints being what they are, have considerable responsibility to keep alive the faith among the followers of the religion irrespective of the vote-oriented myopic activities of the politicians. So, more than the saints we Hindus as a whole now need to “arise, awake and stop not” till the goal of safety for India is reached (Courtesy – Swami Vivekananda).
    India is the new target of Islam fundamentalists. Following r few links of articles that shout from the rooftop about the nefarious aim and activities of Islam fundamentalists in India. Neither India, nor Indians as a whole – Hindus included – are no more safe, but our crazy and myopic politicians still want to appease Muslims in India induct them in important public services like police, also grant them better amenities in construction of their dargah and madarsaas, extend access in housing for low income groups and also more funds for their haj…

    http://www.despardes.com/articles/feb06/20060211-islamic-republic-india.asp
    http://www.hindu.com/2007/08/27/stories/2007082760821400.htm
    http://www.hindu.com/2008/05/17/stories/2008051754761100.htm
    http://www.hindu.com/2008/08/01/stories/2008080155141000.htm
    http://acorn.nationalinterest.in/2008/08/05/my-op-ed-in-mint-pomegranates-polls-and-power/
    Regards
    Sharad Mistry


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  12. Best you should change the blog subject Hindu Saints waking up to the world challenges Sangh Parivar Insider Perspective to more catching for your content you write. I liked the the writing yet.


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