Vande Mataram to sing or not – Contd….. September 7, 2006Posted by dilletante in Uncategorized.
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.