Saturday, November 07, 2009

If the Indian Congress Party can take a day off from being a Vote-Whore to all the so-called minorities, I would like to make a simple prayer.

The grand session last week of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind while expressing concern over communal hatred and violence advocated a fatwa that banned Indian muslims from singing the national song of India "Vande Mataram" as it contains some verses which are hinduistic in content. Now, paradoxes, contradictions and oxymorons are nothing new with these self-appointed religious morons, but your home minister attended the conference and seemed quite okay with that kind of a fatwa. When inconvenienced about this issue, he just shrugged that he "wasn't there". The congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmad responded “This is a very sensitive issue. It is our national song. And there are also religious sentiments attached. Keeping in mind all these facts, the issue should not be made controversial”.

So, you just want to dismiss it with a language of political correctness. But, It's the national song. And people sing it everyday proudly in respect and awe of our motherland. It's the war cry that made this nation independent and a sovereign state (I got this from the movies , though!!!). And, as the ruling party, Isn't your job to represent the nation? I do not understand how a spurious religious interpretation can endanger the validity of our national song and make it a "sensitive issue".

A little thought experiment. Let's say, I start a successful religion in which my God's favorite sacrificial offering is a politician (Imagine it's success). Would you let me continue the practice based on the sole right to practice my own faith? No. You wouldn't. The reason is this is an unsustainable ritual (no matter how much fun it can be) and can lead to a lot of disharmony in the society. That's because violent, crazy ideas even with divine recommendations should have no role in nation building, Mr. Government. So, isn't it the duty of a official responsible for internal security of a nation to discourage and condemn such kind of divisive speeches especially when you are attending that very conference at the very least. In turn, you ask the opposing party to shut up and not politicize this. You have already politicized it. You have nodded the reaffirmation with your silent attendance, Mr. Chidambaram!

I hope I don't have to clarify that I have nothing against people following their faith. I, do, have something against people condemning and refusing to acknowledge the existence of values and beliefs of other people. I definitely, do have something against the religious noise that seeks to emphasize the differences we have amidst us. I, do, have something against politics that choose to capitalize on these issues. I also, choose to not argue with those folks who just heave a sigh and conclude that the whole problem can be solved by removing religion -we cannot ignore it after we come so far. Should we not encourage a generation to understand the need for living together harmoniously enjoy and rejoice the colorful customs and culture of each other.

I understand freedom of speech. Those religious cartoons can say what they want. I have no problem with turning a deaf ear to their yelling and shrieking. But, the least I expect of a government is that it display some character, some consistency that reflects the idea of a nation and what citizens want. It is just shameful that the even singing the national song of India cannot be the one thing that every Indian can/should do.

Yes. I am asking for Pluralistic Humanism. It's a humble utopia. However, I cannot disagree with you that all utopia is some sort of fantasy pornography - the story lines can never be true in this unfortunate universe, folks.


g2 said...

Finally, you are writing about politics :)

Pradyumna Kumar said...

great read.. following Indian politics from US.. good.. :)

SASH said...

Thanks, Prady ... How are you doing?

Pradyumna Kumar said...

fine.. busy actually, its the end of the sem..

Sharjeel said...

It is very important to keep in mind that Islam doesn't recognize any entity called nation, and hence any form of deitification (i dont know whether such a word exists) or blind faith in one's nation is a highly condemnable act.
In Iqbal's words:
"इन ताजा खुदाओं में बड़ा सबसे वतन है , जो पैरहन इसका है वोह मज़हब का कफ़न है !"
"Nationalism is the latest of modern gods;
But its garb is the coffin of religion!"

SASH said...

I completely agree that religion should transcend these man-made boundaries like nationality (of which I am not a big fan myself) and all ... But why are they so bothered about the national song ... it's irrelevant to them any way ... why do they care? That's because there is a difference between religion and its tenets and these so-called religious people. These self-ordained babblers have political ends as opposed to a spiritual ends and that doesn't impress me very much.

Also, if the government feels that it has no responsibility for nation-building or internal harmony, that's equally condemnable. It's their goddamn job !!!

SASH said...

also ... when islam was created , there was no concept of a nation ... can we today live oblivious to that idea ...?

Sharjeel said...

Well I dont think that everybody here has political motivations. I think that this move is a good one, to remove any affiliation, any attachment with the concept of nation. It may be a very insignificant thing in itself but is part of a much larger concept.

Sharjeel said...

Its not right that the concept of nation didn't exist during Muhammad's time, though some nations were based on a different notion. The Persian people, the Romans, the Greeks, they all had a primitive concept of the nation.
And the thing itself is not important, the underlying philosophy, the underlying concept of nationhood is what has remain unchanged, and that is what is challenged by Islam.

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