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Shia Board wants Vande Mataram in Urdu

November 16, 2009 12:53 IST

Amidst a controversy over reciting of Vande Mataram by Muslims, the All India Shia Personal Law Board has asked the Centre to get the national song translated in Urdu to help the community understand the real meaning and spirit of the song.

Board chairman Maulana Mirza Mohammad Athar has sent a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, copy of which had also been forwarded to the President, to arrange a correct 'tarjuma' (translation) of Vande Mataram at the earliest.

"Controversy over Vande Mataram it not new, while one section of the community leaders opposes its recital by Muslims, some even favour it," AISPLB spokesman Maulana Yasoob Abbas told PTI.

He said efforts should be made to clear the controversy over the song once and for all.

"Getting a correct and authentic tarjuma of Vande Mataram in Urdu is the best option as it will help the Muslims decide, whether they want to recite the national song or not," he said.

He claimed that repeated controversy over Vande Mataram was resulting in "hatred" amongst the two communities.

"A worthless debate is being carried out on the issue, which is communally sensitive. Muslims should be told about the real meaning and spirit of Vande Mataram," Maulana Abbas said.

Maulana Abbas said a major factor, which had led to controversy over Vande Mataram time and again, is that the song is written in Sanskrit, which majority of the Muslims are unaware of.

Making it clear that Islam does not prohibit salutation to the motherland, he said, "We say that we honour our land and if Vande Mataram means the same then there is no objection over it".

On the fatwa issued by Deoband restraining Muslims from reciting Vande Mataram, Maulana Abbas alleged it was merely a "publicity stunt".

"The issue was raised during Deoband's convention only to gain publicity," he alleged.

He said that once the Urdu translation is ready it should be circulated among all clerics, intellectuals and academicians, so that a consensus can be arrived at.

"If Urdu translation is available, Muslims will get a clear idea. If they are in favour of reciting of the national song then its fine, and if the community has some reservations then it should not be forced to recite Vande Mataram," he said.

Abhishek Bajpai in Lucknow
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