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|November 23, 1998||
Shahabuddin backs Ali Mian on Vande Mataram
Former Lok Sabha member and Insaf Morcha convener Syed Shahabuddin has extended his support for the call of All India Muslim Personal Law Board president Maulana Syed Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi aka Ali Mian to the Muslim parents to withdraw their children from the government schools if they were to make Vande Mataram and Saraswati Vandana compulsory.
In a statement, Shahabuddin said Vande Mataram is a national song and has its place at official functions and ceremonial occasions but to make it a compulsory feature of a school assembly in the name of inculcating patriotism was an act of imposition.
He said the move to impose the Saraswati Vandana on Muslims violates the Constitution. In Islam, adoration or worship of any other object as deity was the most grievous sin.
He said he had no objection in the national anthem or any patriotic songs without religious overtone as they were second to none in loving the motherland.
He said the Uttar Pradesh government had made Sanskrit a compulsory language at the primary level. One should not fail to understand that no child will be able to learn more than two languages at primary and three at the secondary level. ''Denial of mother tongue amounts to cultural genocide,'' he alleged.
He said this was a deliberate attempt by the Sangh Pariwar and its 'captive government' to promote one religion at the cost and integrity of another and brainwash Muslim children and assimilate them to the 'Hindu fold', he alleged.
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