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Vande Mataram to sing or not – Contd….. September 7, 2006

Posted by dilletante in Uncategorized.
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The day came and went by without much of controversy, which was expected. Most of the nation sang the song, some did not and some others sang Sara Jahan se Acha expressing their patriotism. However, there was no major controversy and violence due to this though.

Interesting thing was how the political parties played it to their advantage. The party which started it in 1906 thought of it as a great idea to boost its image by making it mandatory to sing the song and later down playing it after seeing communal gains (or rather political loss). The party which opposes everything the ruling party does bore the mantle of tradition of the rivals.

Its quite an interesting topic – whether to sing or not to sing a national song. What makes it interesting is not the singing or not singing the national song. It’s a national song and it has to be sung to express your patriotism, no doubt in that. However what makes it interesting is how it has become a national song. I am sure, when Vande Mataram was made a national song, it passed the election easily without any opposition (I believe it was the only song). However, if there were another vote again, what would be the case? It would still have been elected as the national song.

However, election things and democracy are funny things. It only takes care of the majority and forces minority to take the majority’s path. If 8 our of 10 people think it’s the right way to do a thing, whether its right or not, it becomes the law. Even if other two people are right, they cannot do anything against it. That’s the inherited flaw in the system and you cannot do anything about it.

When India and Pakistan were formed, people were given option to choose where they would reside, which laws to abide and which songs to sing. People chose what best suited them and their decendents have to respect their choices. I mean, I did not choose VandeMataram as my national song, still I take only pride in singing it. The people before you did not have any problem singing the same song, even though they had the same god.

Agreed times have changed, and with changing times, thought processes have changed. So have the demands of patriotism. People fought for freedom and country downplaying religion 50 years back. Things have changes. Country and religion were in two separate categories then, now they are competing against each other. Alright, singing the national song is not a measure of patriotism. Then let me as a simple question, is country above religion? Would you go against the country for religion?

The religion has not changed, it is only the ideology of the people that is changing.
India has always believed in and practices the ideology of secularism. I understand, by secularism it means without regard to your individual religions, you unite together as a nation. Bringing religion in between you and performing national duty would not make you look patriotic in our secular establishment.

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1. sk - September 7, 2006

“People chose what best suited them and their ancestors have to respect their choices.”

You mean descendants, don’t you?

I think this whole issue was unnecessary and was a result of a stupid order by the HR ministry led by arjun Singh, which was subsequently repealed. This led to a situation was exploited by politicians belonging to both religions. Then, the media is always ready to stoke a fire, which it did once again and the situation almost got out of hand. I’m glad there were riots or any such things yesterday. That could be taken as a sign of respect for the national song.

2. tismarkhan - September 7, 2006

“..I’m glad there were riots or any such things yesterday…”. ..-sk–
you mean you are glad there were NOT riots…, dont you?

“. If 8 our of 10 people think it’s the right way to do a thing, whether its right or not, it becomes the law…”
sure it does, thats also called democarcy. most of the times ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are all in the gray zone….and thats why we vote..!!

“is country above religion? Would you go against the country for religion? ”
May be not. and hence as I suggested, making decision on VM based on islam choice was may be wrong..but one can also argue considering VM which was actually an ode to Goddess Durga, and written by someone who has a past of writing anti-mulsim things, was also not exactly ‘non-religious approach’.

In either case, my arguement remains same…the choice is made. Nothing will change with time on this. So let us just accept it and move on. VM was never made mandatory in last 60 years and let it be so even now and always…, we have other problems to deal with rather than trying to justify if VM is scale of patritoism or not.

“..I understand, by secularism it means without regard to your individual religions, you unite together as a nation. ..”
As I pointed out even earlier, unfortunately I do not think thats the way secularism is in India.
Its more like “With regard to ALL the religion, you TRY to unite together..”
and thats why we have a problem…

3. sk - September 8, 2006

“..I’m glad there were riots or any such things yesterday…”. ..-sk–
“you mean you are glad there were NOT riots…, dont you?”

Actually, “I’m disappointed that there were no riots,” but, whatever makes you happy! 🙂

4. dilletante - September 8, 2006

Thanks for correcting me on these descendents, I have noticed it happening to me a few times. Every time I want to speak or write something, I end up saying/writing the opposite of it. Gotta work on correcting it.

The riots thing, I dont see it now.


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