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'Muslims should not sing Vande Mataram'
September 06, 2006 21:25 IST
The Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind on Wednesday said Muslims "cannot and should not" sing Vande Mataram and threatened to move court if forced to recite it.
"It is wrong to relate reciting of Vande Mataram with patriotism," organisation general secretary Mahmood A Madani said adding, "Muslims are firm in their resolve that they cannot and should not sing Vande Mataram and they should not be forced to do so."
"The Centre hasn't made the recitation of the song mandatory and the states should also follow that. If forced to sing, we will protest it by peaceful means. We will take this issue to court," Madani told reporters in New Delhi.
He said the national song is not a part of our Constitution and even the Supreme Court, in a 1987 order, had held that singing the national song or national anthem should not be a criterion to judge a citizens' patriotism.
"Muslims do not have to prove their love for the motherland to anyone. We deeply love India as our motherland, but cannot worship it as 'Ibadat sirf ek Khuda ki hoti hain' (only God is worshipped)," he said adding, "Vande Mataram is a tribute to Goddess Durga, therefore, we cannot recite it."
"Even R N Tagore, M N Roy had said Muslims should not be forced to recite it," he said.
He also opposed the idea of Muslim children staying away from schools on Thursday to avoid singing the song.
Asked to comment on All India Muslim Personal Law Board Maulana Kalbe Sadiq's contention that if "Vande means salutation, respect or homage" Muslims can sing the national song, Madani said, "I don't want to argue with him (Sadiq) or anyone, but his statement cannot be construed as the statement of the MPLB of which I am also a member."