The Union Human Resource Development ministry recently directed all states to recite Vande Mataram in educational institutions on September 7, the centenary of the national song. The Congress backed away from the directive after protests from minority scholars and organisations.
Labelled as anti-Islamic by Darul-uloom-Islam for supporting the singing of Vande Mataram, Bharatiya Janata Party vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi reminded the 'so-called scholars of Deoband' that they are not living in a theocratic Muslim state, but in a secular republic where all religions are at par with each other.
In an exclusive chat with rediff.com readers, Naqvi talks about religion, nationalism and separatist forces within the country. For those of you who missed the chat, here is the transcript:
Administrator says, Mr Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will join us at 4 pm IST
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi says, I am here to take your questions.
Administrator says, Mr Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will be with us very shortly
AnuragGarg asked, The song Vande Matram is so pious that I need to listen again and again to which is the controvertial line that appears to heart islamic feelings. I just want to know why muslims feel shy to praise Bharat (India).
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, Because of some fanatic people who have separatist mindset. Common Muslims are not against Vande Matram.
naqvi asked, How many indians know the meaning of vande matram. By the way its is not a national song ,just give any official refrence
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, In 1947 the Constituent Assembly adopted Vande Matram Song as the national song and Jana Gana Mana as the National Anthem. It is not important how many people know what it means because many people do not know the meaning of Quran,Gita, Bible, Ramayana but it is the question of honouring the relgious books and faith. In the same manner Vande Matram is the symbol of our national pride.
avijeet asked, Naqvi is true Indian
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, Thank you.
gaurav dwivedi asked, Dear FAZAl Saheb, Really we have proud of Muslims like you, We should kick of bukharis and those who rare against Vande matram
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, Yes, this is also the feeling of the nationalist Muslims living in India.
Hassan asked, We Indian Muslims cannot follow the ideology of RSS outfits coz they are the real terrorist of India unfortunately Indians have forgotten history
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, Okay you are free to follow the ideology of Bin Laden but definitely this ideology is not in the interest of the humanity at large,progress,prosperity and peace for the Muslims.
Hassan asked, Sorry Naqvi has muslim name but he is not a Muslim
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, I do not need any certificate from people of the separatists mind set.
Azhar Ali asked, Hello Mr Naqvi, why you people dont accept Allama Iqbal song......"sare jhan se accha hindustan hamara."
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, Nobody is opposing Sare Jahan Se Accha. Everyone accepts it. But those who advance the argument for acceptance of Sare Jahan se accha are opposing Vande Matram. You cannot have double standard.
deepak Kumar asked, Sir, what is BJP doing recent news about a FATVA against you have u lodged any FIR with Police?
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, We do not want to do anything. Some fanatic Molvi's are selling Fatwa like patatoes and onions and going around Mohallas to sell them. But there are few takers of such Fatwas.
Swapnil asked, After 59 years of Independence why we have to think all these issues and create the problems. Is it not wise to talk about technology, development, making India a super power. By doing so don't you think that we are just wasting our time, efforts for nothing. Example, you are answering the questions from all over the world on this controversy for nothing. What do you think?
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, Yes, of course technology, development and making India a super power is important for us. But no country can achieve this goal without preserving and honouring their cultural heritage and nationalism. You would recall that the Roman catholics announce the election of the new Pope by unleashing white smoke from an old Chimney. This is heritage.
NAVEED asked, Mr Naqvi Ministers of your party from Chattisgarh dont know Vande Matram, so are they also anti national?
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, I am of the strong opinion that singing of Vande Matram is not a certificate of patriotism but opposition of the national song is definitely a proof of the separatist mindset.
Ankur asked, Rather than making INDIA a hindutva country , as BJP,s agenda says we must try to make our country a worth place to live in. how do you react
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, We do not want to make India another version of Pakistan. That is why we are opposed to separatist anti national mindset for overall peace and progress of every section of society including the Muslims.
Huzaifa asked, I m a muslim n i dont think singing vande mataram is a problem...But wanted to knw y is BJP is so adamant in making it compulsory for ppl to sing it...Y dont u let ppl decide..u think u r smart enuf to decide for ppl...U dont let aamir khan speak..U decide wat ppl should wear...wat kinda movies shud they watch...Is BJP a democratic or an autocratic party?
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, Yes, I know not only you but crores of Indian Muslims are not opposing the Vande Matram. Their patriotism is unqeustioned. We are not compelling for any patriotism. It comes from within. But definitely we cannot overlook the activities of the separatist forces silently who seek to divide the Indian community.
rval asked, hello mr. naqvi. I am aware of ur stance on this issue but dont you think it should be voluntary to sing national song in a democracy
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, When did we say that it should be made compulsory. It is more of an emotional than mandatory.
Rubina asked, Naqviji, I think, you are the strongest Muslim leader of Independent India, keep it up. All the best.
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, Thank you....
Mohammed asked, Mr. Naqvi, why political parties bring like this issues? It's clearly shows for vote bank? Is it true?
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, I agree with you that is why the first UPA government at the centre announced the singing of Vande Matram in every institution mandatory. But after pressure from Mullahs and fanatic forces they backed out from their earlier stand for sake of the vote bank.
AnuragGarg asked, Please take this one I have a very valid question to ask for - This is quiet pathetic and now the minority will decide what will happen with this country and what all will be followed. We Indians respect minorities feelings but why not minorities given due respect in Islamic regions.
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, This kind of reaction is not just yours but the feelings of the millions of people of the country because of the hypocratic attitude of our secular political fronts on the issue of national importance. But minority community is not responsible but vote bank politics is.
ashok priyadarshi asked, Naqviji, as a journalist and much before as an indian I think, you are the strongest Muslim leader of Independent India. by the blessing of god one day you may head this great country. All the best.
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, Thank you...
Ahmed asked, In Muslim religion, it is considered a Big Sin to equate anyone with God or Gods..while Vande Mataram praises the country as a Goddess..Dont you think both are different things..Religion and Nationalism , both should be separate.
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, Religion and nationalism are made for each other.
Shanky asked, The Muslim clergy has a habit of issuing Fatwas on a drop of a hat. Why do you feel the minorities are feeling so insecure over singing the National Song? Are they not Indian?
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, You are right. No minority should feel insecure over the singing of Vande Matram. Only few persons of the separatist mindset are trying to impose their agenda on minorities under the security cover of Islam and Fatwa.
Abbas asked, Naqvi sahab, I salute you for standing up against false propaganda. And the fact about the national song was enlightening. Have you ever faced remarks that are being sent to you right now ever in your party?
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, Thank you. Irrelevant remarks do not bother me.
NAVEED asked, Naqvi sab aapko salam kare ya Ram Ram
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, Salam or Ram Ram are not symbols of nationalism or relgion. These are merely words of respect for each other. You free to address me the way you like.
harry asked, Hello Sir, why is this issue suddenly coming up..
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answers, Because Vande Matram completes one hundred years on September 7, 2006 and the mindset which opposed the Vande Matram in the name of religion continue to do the same even now. That is why the issue has come up again.
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi says, Thank you for asking questions.