What’s up with Vande Mataram?

http://www.politeindian.com/blog/2006/09/12/whats-up-with-vande-mataram/

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Posted in India. 29 Comments »

29 Responses to “What’s up with Vande Mataram?”

  1. Sandeep Shilawat Says:

    Your point of view is very broad. So broad that it misses the point completely.

    Vande Matram is a National song. Meaning… you sing it in pride of your nation. Sometimes you have to make a choice if you are hindu first or an indian first.

    Well then.. Why is it a national song? Elected officals (by likes of you me) have made that decision. You have issues with it, try to change it democratically. By not singing …. you say… I don’t agree its a national song, and I don’t care what does law says. That essentialy a punishable offence in the court of law. You also make another important choice that you choose religion over nation if there is the unfornate conflict.

    Suppose tomorrow Pakistan attacks on India with wereing jackets which say something of religiou s importance to Muslims, are we not going to fire on them?

    I think being secular is a two way street. Everybody has to walk to meet at some point.

    I think Muslims should sing Vande Mataram, as long as it a national song. They should work with electoral parties to get it changed. I am sure no party wants to ignore 17% vote.

    I think everything should evolve. So as concepts of Nationalism and religion. Be it Hindu or Muslim or soething else…

  2. politeindian Says:

    Sandeep:
    First of all it is not a law that you have to sing it. If HRD Ministry circulating a circular making it mandatory to sing, makes it a law then the same HRD ministry had later clarified that it was not mandatory to sing it.

    Even if it was a law, by not singing it one is making a peaceful boycott and expressing his opposition to it. Now peaceful protests and boycotts are acceptable ways in a democracy to express your resentment with any law however important it may be.

    The question is not whether one should sing it or not. The main question is, how far is it correct to force someone into singing it.

    Nationalism, as the majority Hindu understand, is displayed by singing the national song and if the Muslims don’t then they are not nationlists? what wierd logic!

    You pose a hypothetical situation

    Suppose tomorrow Pakistan attacks on India with wereing jackets which say something of religiou s importance to Muslims, are we not going to fire on them?

    However wierd the problem you pose, let us suppose a situation like this arises then there should be an attempt to resolve this problem instead of downright pushing something down someone’s throat. Of the top of my head I can give you a wierd solution, let the Indian army give the Indian muslims in the army the same jacket what Pakistani’s are wearing.
    The problem with your approach is that you do not want to give it a try to find a solution to such problems. You want to force your will on others which is wrong.

    Let me pose you a similar wierd problem
    What if the army decides that while you are on the front you have to eat beef because by some miracle it provides you an advantage over the enemy and will help defeat the enemy. What do you think the non beef eating Hindus in the army do?

  3. atlantean Says:

    “I cant bow to my nation. I bow only to Allah.”

    With those frightening words, what we’re taught at school – “I am Indian first, a HIndu/Muslim next” got spat at.

    Saying “I bow only to Allah” is a fundamentalist interpretation of the Quran, the same sort of interpretation practised by the Taliban, the Al Qaeda and the Wahhabi sect.

    Here’s what I feel: http://sujaiblog.blogspot.com/2006/09/why-muslims-do-not-sing-vande-mataram.html#115817691516577454

  4. Sandeep Shilawat Says:

    Ahhh.. Myself being a libral its very painful to fight a libral viewpoint. Lets come out of weird examples.. 🙂

    Concept of nation is physical and logical. Phisically a nation is defined by its boundries while logically by its constitution, flag, songs and othe national symbols. By not obeying it you are sabotaging basic concept of nation.

    If eating beef is declared by nation to be symbol of national pride.. Every Hindu must very well do it.

    The battle you fight is Religion Vs Nation. For you, religion prevails over nation. For me nation prevails over religion. Its necessary that you say that explicitly.

    May be you don’t believe in concept of nation but want religious faiths to be symbol of liberty. Its ok to have that but that builders of nation have to be watchful for attitudes of likes of you as for you nation is a compromisable idea, in front of religion.

    Vande Matram is not decided by bunch of Hindus.. Chief of Haj committee of Chattisgarh is a muslim and is thrown out of his religion as he sung vande matram. The seeds of hatred are sowed. A muslim kid from agra wanted to sing Vande matram and he is thrown out of family due to that. When expressing nation pride becomes religious crime. destiny has put a very important question infront of you,

    Do you want to build a nation? (A Society of people living togather with making adjustments for each other)

    Or you want to build a fanatic religion(Hindu or muslim) which causes people run planes into buildings?

    Vande matram is symbol of the same question. Soon enough destiny will pose lot tougher questions to librals. Right now its our choice to set our priorities right.

    Religious Liberty at the cost of nation is unfortunate for the nation. Everyone should be ready to make adjustements. I think nation has made many adjustements and amendments. Thousands have lost their lives to religous fanatism (encouraged by likes of you).

    Its time ripe for religion to make some amendments. There is a price to pay if you want to be called Indian .. The price may be eating beef or singing Vande matram. We should be ready to pay. If we don’t pay up now … future will make us pay.

    Finally you talk of democracy which has been awarded to you as a gift by your ancestors (who BTW sung Vande Matram without any issues) and means of protest. You have price to pay if you use your liberty to downgrade concept of nation (as currently defined). You should be made to pay that.

  5. Sandeep Shilawat Says:

    >>>> From antleans Blog
    Article 51A:

    Fundamental Duties – It shall be the duty of every citizen of India –

    (a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;

    (b) to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;

    (e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women; (my emphasis)

  6. shashi Says:

    Dirty polititians created these chaos….Vande Mataram has such a spiritual and patriotic history and having issue with it means we have put blemishes on patriotism…

  7. politeindian Says:

    Sandeep:

    If eating beef is declared by nation to be symbol of national pride.. Every Hindu must very well do it.

    And if anybody questions whether it should be called that symbol? Is there room for someone registering a protest? Or it is not open for discussion?

    The battle you fight is Religion Vs Nation. For you, religion prevails over nation. For me nation prevails over religion. Its necessary that you say that explicitly.

    That is not my stand. I am stating it here again…I am not against the song per se. I am not against singing the song. I am against FORCING someone to sing it. Can’t be more explicit than that!

    May be you don’t believe in concept of nation but want religious faiths to be symbol of liberty. Its ok to have that but that builders of nation have to be watchful for attitudes of likes of you as for you nation is a compromisable idea, in front of religion.

    For you it might be OK to trounce every civil liberty to maintain your concept of Nation. For me it is not. Nation is built by the people living in it. Nation needs to cater to the needs of ALL its citizens and as you say people do need to make adjustments. I would add that they need to make NECESSARY adjustments and again what is Necessary is subjective. One can give up civil liberties only under extraordinary circumstances but not on a day to day basis.

    Its time ripe for religion to make some amendments.

    If you are asking for religious reforms in a religion, then force is definitely not the way to ask for it.

    You have price to pay if you use your liberty to downgrade concept of nation

    This is YOUR view that using my liberty in this way is DOWNGRADING the concept of nation. To me it is the opposite.

    You think not singing the national song is not respecting the nation … I Don’t
    You think using your liberty to register a protest against a national symbol is downgrading the nation… I Don’t

    I will state again here… The problem with your approach is you do not want to leave any room for discussion. And anything being said against the popular belief is considered blasphemy.
    What I am asking is…If there is a problem, acknowledge it. Make an attempt to solve it. If you have exhausted all your options and still come to the same conclusions that you are at right now, may be you stand right in this but do all that before you try to force something against someone’s will and beliefs.

    The attitude here is “What the hell. If 85% can do it why the hell the 15% can’t do it?”….Wrong attitude!!!

  8. politeindian Says:

    Shashi:

    You are right… the politicians created this chaos which was totally unnecessary. They could have just asked people to voluntarily sing this great song on the 100th anniversary instead of MANDATING it. There would have been no controversy at all.

    I do not have an issue with the song but if it can be used in such a way I think one can introspect!

  9. Sandeep Shilawat Says:

    Asking somebody do his fundamental duty, respect the nation and its symbols, is forcing it, then so be it.

    Again its not about you. Its about the liberal stand. And as I have said it .. use of force is OK to get you to do your fundamental duties.

    Respecting nation by singing a song, is definately the one for me.

    About me its not 85 vs 15. For me its the entire 100%. Do it when its being asked by nation.

    My approach is, if you want to change the things first demonstrate that you are ready to operate in the nations framework. Anything that will defy that framework should be dealt with all means. There are mechanisms of change, follow them.

    Shear definace wouldn’t help. Also that does not leave quasi-liberals in difficult position.

    You have to make a choice (A DIFFICULT ONE), on some occasions. Nation or Religion…

    I have already mentioned Vande Matram is a mere symbol of this issue. Please keep open eyes while making that decsion. As many have already declared their stand.

    You have not made your stand clear on that.

    As of using democratic means to destory a democratic nation for religious cause… I am not for it.

  10. politeindian Says:

    Atlantaen:
    I read your response at Sujai’s blog and here are my comments.

    Likewise, if during a similar movement, upper caste Hindus also performed “beef eating” to express patriotism (in the past), clearly going against their religious beliefs for a much larger and a far more important purpose and still do today in large numbers, then I dont see why there should be any problem now!

    Is that a valid justification? Just because it was being done in the past it should be done even now? And even if it has to be done how justified is it to force someone to do it?

    That is the same kind of interpretation practised by the Taliban, the Al Qaeda and the Wahhabi sect, mind you.

    This is a different issue. Now you are negating the basis on which Muslims are opposing it. If what you are saying is correct, then let the muslims come out and say that it is not against the religion.
    If you think by forcing Muslims to sing one can make them understand their flawed interpretation then you are wrong. This is not how you bring about religious reforms, if that is what you suggest.

    Now let us give some credit to the basis and ask … if it is indeed against the religion to sing it then why not acknowledge it and try to find a peaceful solution to such a problem? Give it a try and you might come accross a brilliant idea to balance the two i.e. religion and nation.

    Let me ask you… if the reason not to sing is other than religious would you still expect someone to sing it?
    e.g.
    1. I don’t know the lyrics so I can’t sing it.
    2. I don’t understand the language it is written?
    3. It is difficult to remember the lyrics as the words used are not in practice.
    4. Even if I learn the lyrics I keep forgetting it every 15 days.

    Because of all the reasons above I don’t like that song and hence will not sing it.

    How would you test patriotism in this case?

  11. Sandeep Shilawat Says:

    Shashi:

    This one.. lets not blame on politicians. Lets blame it on religions.

    I think there is a Urdu version of vande Matram for those who have issues with with Sanskrit Vande Matram…
    ‘Taslimat.. ma taslimat’

    or a Hindi version
    ‘Ma tuze Salam…’

    I think there should be an national pride to sing it. Ways to sing it will follow !

  12. atlantean Says:

    Polite Indian:

    “Is there room for someone registering a protest? Or it is not open for discussion?”

    Havent you, some Muslims and some Sikhs protested already? It is not as if the state has forced shut opposing mouths. The fact that we, civil society and the media are discussing this issue is because it is open to discussion. It is not a “you’re curtailing my civil liberties” issue this.

    “I am against FORCING someone to sing it. Can’t be more explicit than that!”

    That stand is well taken. That is even my stand. I feel forcing it on those who dont want to sing will be counterproductive.

    But the issue here is the state asking/urging people to sing it and some refusing to sing citing religious reasons. We all revel in saying “Eeshwar Allah Tero Naam”, “We’re Indians first, Hindu/Muslim next” all the time but see what’s happening now in the name of secularism/religious freedom – “We’re Muslims first, Indians next.” Frankly tell me, are you not alarmed at this trend? Tomorrow a situation may come in a war between India and Pakistan – an Indian Muslim soldier is pitted against a Pakistani Muslim soldier. What if the Indian soldier refuses to fight the Pakistani because he’s “Muslim first, Indian next”? Is that using civil liberties? To me, that sounds more like cheating a secular nation for the sake of one’s religion than using civil liberties/religious freedom.

    “What the hell. If 85% can do it why the hell the 15% can’t do it?”

    Because most of the 15% have sung the song before, during the movement for independance and MOST of them sing today and MOST of them have sung on Sep. 7 as well! So saying 15% cant do it here is like watching a person read a book and claim he cant read a book.

    “Just because it was being done in the past it should be done even now? And even if it has to be done how justified is it to force someone to do it?”

    Not just in the past, most of them are singing today. I am against forcing it as well.

    “if it is indeed against the religion to sing it then why not acknowledge it and try to find a peaceful solution to such a problem? Give it a try and you might come accross a brilliant idea to balance the two i.e. religion and nation.”

    That had already been done. The original song had 5 stanzas. Only the first two are sung today because the rest definitely have explicit religious connotations. Now, it all comes down to “Vande Mataram” itself – “I bow to Thee” – this is English. I dont know what the Urdu interpretation exactly is and I’d like to know. In Hindi, it is “Maa tujhe salaam.” Muslims dont “salaam” except to Allah? Muslim soldiers dont salute their senior officers in the armed forces?

    “If what you are saying is correct, then let the muslims come out and say that it is not against the religion.”

    The Muslims who sang Vande Mataram on Sep. 7 did exactly that.

    “Because of all the reasons above I don’t like that song and hence will not sing it.”

    I’m afraid those arent sufficient grounds to refuse to sing. Mind you, this is a national symbol, not a song for entertainment, so the lyrics, language, melody, tone etc. dont and shouldnt matter. For example, you cant say you dont like the Indian Flag because you dont like blue, saffron and green and that it is made of cloth while you’d have liked it in wiremesh. The properties of the symbol dont matter. The gist/message/spirit of the symbol/song matters. One more thing – it is not like Vande Mataram fell out of the sky and we are forced to sing it blindly. Why do we all follow the Constitution? Because we made it and gave it to ourselves. Similarly, we made (we were and are conscious of its spirit and message) and gave Vande Mataram to ourselves – a century back. What an unnecessary controversy in 2006 AD! Should the blame go to Shahi Imam Bukhari? I think he seriously put a blotch on our Muslim brothers, many of whom are quite secular, modern and law abiding in nature.

  13. Sandeep Shilawat Says:

    Atlantean:

    One important thing I will like to add to your very convincing argument is,

    Singing national song is not a matter of discretion. As long as it is a national song you should sing it.

    There ways to change that fact. Democracy is designed to do exactly that.

  14. politeindian Says:

    Atlantean:

    Most of my comments so far were to counter the “FORCING” part of the arguments. Good that we got that out of the way.

    Is singing Vande Mataram against Islam? I can’t say that because I am no scholar on Islam but if you say so and some muslims says so then I will accept your word.
    Now this becomes a different issue. Then The muslims who say it is against Islam to sing it, may be “Misguided” and using “Incorrect Interpretation” of Islam. How do you solve this problem? Such elements are there then in every community and the community needs to deal with it. Such problem manifest in different forms but tackling them is akin to reforming a community and then steps in that direction should be taken.

    So here is what I have to say, If it is not against Islam to sing it then there should be no problem against singing it.
    But it is difficult reach to a consensus that it is not against Islam, if the religious leaders say that it is.

    Now let us consider the other side. What if it is indeed against Islam to sing it? Knowing this we put a Muslim in a situation and ask him to sing it. Now there is a dilemma in his mind. If he sings it he betrays his religion. If he doesn’t he will be perceived as unpatriotic. He has a choice to make. If he choses religion then we have seen the reaction of the non-muslims Indian.
    Consider that being the patriot he is he choses to sing the song. Now he betrays his religion in his own mind and is filled with guilt. Everytime he sings it the feeling of guilt multiplies and takes a mental toll on him.
    Tell me what good as a nation have we done by asking this sincere patriotic muslim to sing the national song?

    Don’t tell me it is wrong for him to feel guilty!

    I totally agree that it is an unnecessary controversy. If the original circular from HRD didn’t make it mandatory to sing it, we would have saved ourselves this.

  15. atlantean Says:

    “Such problem manifest in different forms but tackling them is akin to reforming a community and then steps in that direction should be taken.”

    Correct, and the steps in that direction should be taken by the community in question itself. The Indian polity and civil society provides ample space and resources to do so.

    “But it is difficult reach to a consensus that it is not against Islam, if the religious leaders say that it is.”

    On Sep. 7, most madrassas sang Vande Mataram with only some isolated opposition in Rajasthan and MP. If Mulsim religious leaders think it is against Islam, they would’ve stopped these madrassas from singing the song considering the (perceived) importance of the issue to Islam. That didnt happen except for a few hitherto unknown religious leaders (excepting Bukhari) asking Muslims not to sing for reasons, I think, that are more political/sensational than Islamic. So, I take it that Vande Mataram is not against Islam.

    Besides, I dont think it is correct to take whatever a religious leader says as sacred truth – many Muslims also hold this view as evident from many “Letters to the Editor” in newspapers and other Internet discussion boards. Unless the credentials of the person in question (Islamic religious leader or scholar) are well established (unbiased, scholarly etc.), not only by Muslims themselves but by every Indian, their views shouldnt be taken seriously.

    “Everytime he sings it the feeling of guilt multiplies and takes a mental toll on him.”

    Officers in the Indian Armed Forces take up their job knowing very well that their nation is to be given first importance, superceding even their loyalty to their fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers. An officer who is to give more importance to a nation than his close family MAY feel guilty if he doesnt understand his role. His job is to protect the nation. A nation is its people, which includes his father, mother, sisters and brothers. Once he understands this, he wont feel guilty since he’s actually protecting them and what better job can anyone ask for? Likewise, if a Muslim is singing Vande Mataram, he’s singing praise to India. India is its people, which includes 150 million Muslims as well. Once he understands this, there’s little reason to feel guilty because he’s merely praising his fellow Muslims brothers and sisters as well, and I dont think praising an entity is prohibited in Islam.

    It is wrong and insensitive to interpret this issue as “Indian state vs. Islam/Muslims” because they’re not separate entities. The Indian state is made up of Muslims as well, it recognizes the mother tongue of the Muslims as one of the national languages, it gives equal rights and opportunities to all Muslims as it does to every other Indian citizen and moreover, it is even headed by a Muslim, our President, today. I’d be very happy if a section of Muslims stop thinking themselves as an entity separate from India whenever an issue comes up, be it Vande Mataram or security forces arresting suspects after a terrorist attack. National integration is a great problem in India and our Muslims can help a great deal.

    Just my opinion 🙂

  16. politeindian Says:

    atlantean:
    As I mention before as well, If it is not against Islam then that is a different issue and then I wouldn’t be against EXPECTING everyone to sing it.

    If you concede a scenario where there is a consensus and this act is against the religion…

    You give the example of the Army. Not everyone is EXPECTED to join the army. Here everyone is expected to sing it. You equate family sentiments and attachments to religious sentiments and attachments. In this example will it be wrong if someone leaves the army job due to family emergencies and needs? The person has a choice here. But if it is against religious beliefs what choice does one have? You are discounting the fact that he would feel guilty by saying if he understands his duty he should have little need to feel guilty. I don’t understand how you can belittle religious sentiments!

    In my example the Muslim guy is at point where he has to chose between state and religion(I feel one should be faced with such choices only in extraordinary circumstances). While making this choice he compromises on his religious beliefs he his engulfed with guilt but he is still doing THE RIGHT THING(according to most).

    Now if you don’t concede that he can feel guilty then what can i say? We can agree to disagree 🙂

    But if you do concede that then isn’t it wise of us to ask, how necessary and important it is, as a nation, to put a patriotic citizen in such a situation under ordinary circumstances?
    And if someone asks these questions why is it wrong?

  17. atlantean Says:

    “And if someone asks these questions why is it wrong?”

    Not at all wrong my friend. You have the right.

    “If you concede a scenario where there is a consensus and this act is against the religion…”

    Yes only because some stanzas in Vande Mataram are against a particular religion and there was a consensus on it, we dont sing them today. We sing only the first two. The scenario you refer to has come and passed – I feel.

    If there is a consensus that the first two stanzas also are against Islam, YES, I think we should drop this song as a national song because Muslims feel guilty singing it. After a consensus is reached that Vande Mataram isnt a national song and the government says that this is the official position, we should also go about bringing down all things in India which are “against Islam”. For example, Islam prohibits any Muslim from changing his religion. Therefore, the Right to Religious Freedom is against Islam as it gives freedom for a Muslim to change his religion – something that Islam cannot permit. So let us pass a Constitutional Amendment Act to make a special exemption for Muslims and take away this freedom from them, shall we?

    Aw, chuck it man! :p

    Let us leave it here. Have exams coming up. Have to sit and study.

    Nice discussing with you 🙂

  18. politeindian Says:

    We have already done that by allowing muslims to be governed by the Muslim Personal law and in case of Hindus by Hindu Marriage act and so on.

    Uniform Civil Code is a thing that would address such issues … but that is a subject of another post.

    Nice discussing with you too. 🙂

    Good luck with your exams.

  19. Sandeep Shilawat Says:

    Another liberal – standing on side of Vande matram though (this time)
    Barkha Dutt

    I thought this may be nice place for leaving link for readers
    http://www.ndtv.com/columns/showcolumns.asp?id=1059

  20. politeindian Says:

    I read Burkha Dutt’s article and mostly I agree with what she has to say.

    I feel the same way about Vande Mataram. Should its singing be made compulsory? Absolutely not.

    I agree

    We all know that the song has become a plaything for our politicians. So, the BJP uses it as a war cry for Hindutva; and the Congress tinkers with it as part of its mealy-mouthed manipulation of the Muslim voter.

    This the sad part of Indian polity. Political parties devoid of real issues or should I say oblivious to the real issues pick up these trivial issues.

    Patriotism can’t be thrust down the throats of a thinking, enlightened country. So whether it’s the national anthem or the national song, coercion has no place in Modern India.

    Can’t agree more.

  21. Sandeep Shilawat Says:

    I think important bringabout for me was (I see what you have picked from the article 🙂 ) –

    Should there be a controversy about this issue, given that its a national song? Takeaway for me was for nationalists “it should not have an issue.” Some of the religious stuff has gotten weaven into our nationality with known drawbacks. 🙂

    Blog is very passive medium of argument. Beating my drum is only way to have my last word.

    And of course this is your blog … So I will resign on this issue with a reminder.

    WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:

    JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
    LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
    EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
    and to promote among them all
    FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

    IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.

    ===

    Its a reminder for both, conservationaists and liberals. We work for the same goal. Better Nation ! (The Nation being INDIA)

  22. Sujai K Says:

    Sandeep Shilawat Says:
    “Concept of nation is physical and logical. Phisically a nation is defined by its boundries while logically by its constitution, flag, songs and othe national symbols. By not obeying it you are sabotaging basic concept of nation.”

    Sandeep,
    I believe that the concept of a nation is an idea. When a great majority of people believe in it, a nation exists otherwise it just fades away.
    Following the law of the land is very different from obeying the symbols of the land like flag, songs, etc.

    There are no rules that all should hoist the flag or that all should sing the song. Patriotism cannot be enforced- and shouldn’t be enforced.

    Symbols are just symbols- they need not be enforced. One can love a nation in anyway one wants. A single method cannot be enforced. Its like saying that every religious person should sing a particular song to prove his devotion to a god. There are many people from different languages in India singing different songs and some of them not singing it at all, and still are devotees of God. Just because they did not sing a song, it makes them heretic?

    Don’t confuse symbols of patriotism with Law of the land.

  23. Sujai K Says:

    Sandeep Shilawat Says:
    “Asking somebody do his fundamental duty, respect the nation and its symbols, is forcing it, then so be it…
    …use of force is OK to get you to do your fundamental duties.

    Fundamental Duties are not enforced.
    Can you list any of the fundamental duties that are enforced in India?

    The reason they are not enforced is because enforcing them can lead to suppression of Individual Rights. Our constiution framers were wise. And that why they created two sets-
    Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties- balancing each other. Not enforceable but are safeguarded through Legislature, Executive and Judiciary.

    Don’t expect certain fundamental duties to be enforced just because you like it. If the country went about enforcing them we will lose our fundamental rights.

    Going through the debates and explanations that accompany framing our constitution helps. Any book that explains Indian Constitution will discuss this. Our founding fathers (who framed our constitution) debated a lot on this topic.

  24. Sandeep Shilawat Says:

    Sujai:

    I see your basic argument seems to be … Its not a law. I wonder … why everything has to be a law? But … anyways.

    Everyone should love the nation the way they want. 100% Agreed…
    Patriotism can not be enforced – Agreed…
    Symbols are just symbols- they need not be enforced – Agreed…

    Your GOD analogy is weird but then its just an anology. So…

    I want you see a little different angle. I will not sing something BECAUSE I HAVE RELIGOUS REASON .. Now the matter is pretty twisted. ISN’t IT?

    I am more concerned on treand of siting religious reasons for not doing things. Look around you… People are killing each other siting religious reasons. Now they say I can not do a fundamental duty as as I have religious reason to do so.. Thats crazy for me!!!

    Who controls there religious reasons? Who controls these drumbeaters from religious platforms? I think we should look at bigger picture.

    Its great to have religious beleifs … Constitution makers have taken care of that. If something is left out it can be fixed. There are ways do it.

    I am worried about Religious trend all over the world. Basic question is what comes first, Nation or Religion? I was told that its situation based. I think its a silly statement. Nation should always be first !!!

    About the Fundamental Duties tutorial.. Thanks a lot. I forgot that part of D D Basu !!! 🙂

  25. Shiv Says:

    Hi Sandeep,
    I agree with your concept of patriotism up to some extent where a nation should be strong and can protect the land and peoples. Now question arises where different beliefs came across the one noble cause . In my view religion is very personal thing which you can not relate it with any external beheavior. If you ask most of the Indians they will sadly say that everyone should sing Vande Mataram but They will also say if some people dont want to sing doesn’t matter. Its very important point , our culture and religions are diffrent but We respect each other because its the culture, not written in religious books.Only hindu guy to hindu or muslim guy to muslim can not be true friends only on the basis of religion. Its the persons own rsponsibility to prove his frienship. So its every Indian’s responsibility to prove his nationality. So by proving ur true and honest feeling towards the nation without considering any boundaries of religion is important . so one never get any dilemma of religion or country , its very simple . nationalism is true feeling of any person how loyal he is.
    Now I wrote in first paragraph that no body should force anything on anybody. We should try more to convince others (Not only muslims-Hindus also) so that we can be able to right some good chapters for the future..
    I hope one can understnd what i feel. But i genuinely feel Nationalism is very important than anything else. Extremism of anything worsen the situation.
    Thanks with regards
    shivlal

  26. Sujai Says:

    Sandeep:
    I do not agree with the following of your statements:

    “Everyone should love the nation the way they want. 100% Agreed…”
    I am not comfortable with the world SHOULD in the above sentence. There seems to be a prerogative there. That all citizens should love their nation. Need not be the case. One can be angry with their nation, one can be upset with their nation. They may not want to show love and affection with their nation. Is that something wrong?
    If that angry man is law-abiding, what would you do to force him to LOVE his nation?

    I may not want to sing VANDE MATARAM for ANY of the following reasons:
    1. My religion conflicts with it.
    2. I can’t sing songs. I am shy. I don’t sing any songs.
    3. I won’t sing this song because I hate Bengali.
    4. I won’t sing this song because I don’t want to.
    5. I won’t sing this song because its well within my right NOT to sing it. I am not harming you or anyone. I am not breaking any law. I just want to stay home and not sing it. Can I do that?
    6. I won’t sing this song because I don’t like this song. I will sing other songs which I like- there are many other patriotic songs- I like ‘Sare Jahan Se Achcha’ – I will sing it.
    7. I won’t sing this song because I don’t like the person who wrote it- he was very communal and he incited Hindus to go against Muslims. As a protest, I won’t sing his song. But I will sing ‘Jana Gana Mana’ because I like Rabindranath Tagore.

    The problem is that any of these reasons can appear ‘pretty twisted’ for many people. But they are all valid reasons.

    Religion is here to stay. Whether anyone likes it or not. So many movements, revolutions and philosophies have come and gone, but they could not wipe out religion. The more someone tried to remove it, the more stronger it got. Instead of trying to shun it, we have to work with it.

    How many citizens in India really do their fundamental duty? If at least some of them did pay their taxes, our GDP would double in an instant (only 3% Indians pay taxes!)
    How many citizens in India really follow the law of the land?

    If one aberration of our fundamental duty is crazy for you, just look around! There are billions of examples around you.

    I agree with you when you say
    “I think we should look at bigger picture.”

    But unfortunately, your bigger picture is different than mine. Yours comes with some pre-conditions. Mine doesn’t.

    You ask:
    “Basic question is what comes first, Nation or Religion?”

    I will ask you few more questions- What comes first?
    Duty or Sacrifice?
    Honor or Humility?
    Charity or Empowerment?
    Love or Responsibility?

    You may think- ‘Are you stupid? What kind of questions are these? It all depends on the circumstances. Why should one forsake one for another? Why can’t one go with both?’

    For each of these questions, I can think of a special situation where in I may have to choose one over the other. ONLY in that special situation, it appears, I can’t get both.
    Just because I give one of them more priority over the other in this special instance, does that mean I will choose that all the time in my life?

    The same Muslim who may not sing Vande Mataram may give up his life to defend this nation. And that supposedly patriotic Indian who sang Vande Mataram aloud beating his chest may scurry away to hide when the nation calls. Now, how do you judge them both? Who is more patriotic?

    You say:
    “I was told that its situation based. I think its a silly statement. Nation should always be first !!!”

    Why?

  27. Sandeep Shilawat Says:

    Sujai:

    I see your viewpoint. Unfortunately, I can not disgree more with it.

    Most rediculous part was “Religion is here to stay” – I am sure it is. I just don’t think its should precede nation. If you ask me Why… Well you must be a very liberal thinker.

    Let me give you 2 cents of my bigger picture…. Pardon if I ditch Vande matram a little bit

    The reasons you have sited for not singing Vande Matram.. I suggest you read them again. If you are serious siting them.. then there serious perspective issue for looking at nation.

    One may not love his nation…. And still stay with it… Thats not good you see. Anyways thats very funny to me.

    People have chosen religion as the priority. They demonstrate it with defiance. Sometimes they use violence. No reason can justify any loss of life. If Religion teachs you to be a crusader, or do a mahayudh or jihad… you should learn to say no to these things even if they are told by your religion. Something that does not evolves … It creates its own downfall. Nothing is written in stone… Constitution of nation can change .. Why can’t a religious concept?
    Like other twisted statements.. one more for you… Create Indian versions of all religions….

    Islam prohibits singing and dancing at wedding so as Hindu probits putting Heena … They still do it .. don’t they. In malegoan I have seen Muslim woman with mangal sutra. These things got kind of mixed up. Hindus who used cows as their wealth now make it goddess… Nobody is teahing anybody. Which century are we living in? Isn’t this supposed to be age of rocket-science?

    One more thing, I think religion is big but our desire to respect life should be bigger.

    No religions are controlled by any law.. They are like parallel governing bodies… People listen to Pope… Some saint from Varanasi.. or A Imam from Mosque… I have problems with it when their orders precede government orders or defy the obvious… And priority of nation succeeds to these petty thoughts. Is it a parallel ORDER?
    Statements should be made to discourage such ORDERs. We while trying to do nice thing should also do the right thing.

    Had all of the religion been here to stay … We would have had temples of Sati… or People would still be killing each other over having a mosque first and then demolition of it later.

    I listned Ahemadjadin speaking at UN yesterday… I have heard Advani and Tagodia speaking. They are seeking justice in the name of Alah and God. Ahemadjadin says UN is non functional and Security council is useless. Tagodia askes you to clean the nation. What happened in UN yesterday happened with league of nations…. Beware my Liberal Friend. You are looking in the face of a very major problem.

    How much more of this religious stuff will be enough to you to become more logical. How many have to die?

    I call upon all you liberals to wake up. I think being libelral is great but having open eyes of our surroundings is best.

    I have already said .. we make adjustements to stay with each other… If religion is is coming in the way of your nationalism then nation should be obliged to curb that trend. Use of force seems to some kind of untouchable idea. Why not? You mentioned about Constitution makers very wise to enforce the duties via legilative means… Do you think they forgot to make law for Vande Matram?

    All religion has to evolve… Nation is evolving. Majority demands that by singing Vande Matram you will demostrate to the world that nation is equally important and you are ready to evolve.

    As you see that is a language which may hurt your all accomodating ears… But if we don’t act now… History will force us to act. Liberals (Like of yours although I also am a liberal) always took time to digest it.

    Not all I said is in good taste and does not my disrespect to your viewpoint. I just can’t agree to liberals sleeping till the dooms day.

    So what is about nation that makes it precede religion…. Thats a separate subject. 🙂

  28. Sandeep Shilawat Says:

    URDU VANDE MATRAM:

    Arif mohammed khan’s translation

    Tasleemat, maan tasleemat
    tu bhari hai meethe pani se
    phal phoolon ki shadabi se
    dakkin ki thandi hawaon se
    faslon ki suhani fizaaon se
    tasleemat, maan tasleemat
    teri raaten roshan chand se
    teri raunaq sabze faam se
    teri pyar bhari muskan hai
    teri meethi bahut zuban hai
    teri banhon mein meri rahat hai
    tere qadmon mein meri jannat hai
    tasleemat, maan tasleemat

  29. Sujai Says:

    Sandeep:
    “One may not love his nation…. And still stay with it… Thats not good you see. Anyways thats very funny to me.”

    In the history of mankind, do you think people moved to different nations or kingdoms because they did not like their present nations or kingdoms? What about those who do not believe in the concept of nation? Where should they go? Or are you suggesting they are not supposed to live anywhere?

    Religions do evolve at the pace and the way the people of that religion want it. Not because others want it. Even Islam has evolved a lot- Sufism, Shiaism, etc, are the byproducts of that evolution. Muslims in India sing and dance because they want to. If you force them to they won’t. Its the same with everyone.

    “Isn’t this supposed to be age of rocket-science?”
    Is it?
    According to statistics, 20th century saw more genocides, more rapes, more wars, more murders, than any century before. Of course they ALSO happen to launch rockets into space. How does technology relate to culture and religion?

    The concept of religion is here to stay- it may evolve, or pray to different gods, but the concept is here to stay, as long as human is going to stay. Sati goes, Vaastu comes, and so on.

    “How much more of this religious stuff will be enough to you to become more logical.”
    Do you intend to curb religion or work with it?

    “Majority demands that by singing Vande Matram you will demostrate to the world that nation is equally important and you are ready to evolve.”
    Now, you are making your own definitions and imposing it onto others. There is no reason why one has to demonstrate that they have evolved. Either people evolve or they don’t.

    “Like of yours although I also am a liberal”
    I am not sure if we are both same kind of liberals. It would be interesting to know what your definition is- because from what you write you don’t seem to accept people as they are.

    “So what is about nation that makes it precede religion”
    More crimes have been committed on the name of nation in the past hundred years than on the name of religion. Nation and Religion- each of them is necessary but each of them is a dogma if carried to an extreme which demands blind loyalty, ask for retribution, and rallies people to unite and as well kill.


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