Yet another post on Vande Mataram September 7, 2006Posted by sk in Blogroll, Miscellaneous, Music, National, Political.
Oh God, not another one! Fear not, this time, it’s only a link to the song on YouTube. Or at least, it was supposed to be only that. Obviously I’m not yet tired of this topic and am prepared to milk it dry. Anyway, here’s the song at the center of the controversy:
All right, I lied (does it matter?). This is actually A.R.Rahman‘s version of the song and it’s definitely not as controversial as the original one, so what better way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the song? It’s a pity that I couldn’t find my favorite patriotic song – Anu Malik’s “I love India” or something of that sort.
Update (9/8/06): Here’s an interesting view on the topic:
“Making it mandatory to sing “Vande Mataram” is a gross infringement on individual freedom. No government has the authority to force a word out of my larynx. Or block me from reading a blog. Or prevent me from reading a book (like say for instance ‘Satanic Verses’) . End of story.”
“… symbol of patriotic pride has been misappropriated for sectarian gains. For the BJP/Hindu revivalists, “Vande Mataram”’s Durga-imagery is a vindication of its identification of nationalism with “Hindutva”. For the proponents of a pan-Islamic identity (like the Imam Bukhari) who are dead set on showing to the world that Islam is under attack in India (despite the fact that Muslims enjoy rights and privileges in India they would struggle to have in other non-Muslim countries—paradoxically rights which Muslim countries deny to their own minorities), “Vande Mataram”’s allusion to a non-Allah superior being is proof positive of a sinister Hindu conspiracy to humiliate and oppress their community.”
Which, in general, reflects Mr.tismarkhan’s (yeah, I know, “Mr. tismarkhan”. It sounds cool!!! :p) views on the topic. Incidentally, Mr. Tismarkhan is also the MVP of this blog site (whatever that means). But what about disrespecting the flag? Should the country not force you NOT to do that either? Or disrespecting the national anthem (or even the national song)? Also, what about the Christian prayers we were forced to recite each morning in school? How come no one has protested against that practice yet (or maybe someone has and I am not aware of it)? I agree with Mr.greatbong, though, that the BJP tried to exploit the situation and equate hindutva with nationalism, which pissed off Muslims. Fair enough. As I said earlier, good idea to get school kids to sing the song, if only it had not been guided by their ulterior motives. The whole issue will soon be forgotten (like Sania Mirza???), only to be rekindled 10, 25, or 50 years from now. Until then, we can rest assured in the knowledge that two simple words like “Vande Mataram” will not divide the country.
Update (9/10/06): Another blogger, Balajiworld has this to say about the whole situation:
“… so called ‘leaders’ chose to represent a fringe minority of bigots by not singing the national song instead of the millions of largely tolerant and easy going muslims/christians who happily paid tributes to the song on its 100th anniversary. Manmohan Singh has fallen one more step in my eyes.”
FWIW, he’s a known BJP sympathizer. This is apparent from some of his other articles. However, this does raise an interesting question: Should the PM have sung the song?