Friday, September 29, 2006

Couplet on our existence: Philosophical poetry in Urdu

miTTii thaa, kisne chaak pe rakh kar ghumaa diyaa
voh kaun haath the ki jo chaaha banaa diyaa
[chaak=potter's wheel]

مٹی تھا کسنے چاک پہ رکھ کر گھما دیا
وہ کون ہاتھ تھے کہ جو چاہا بنا دیا
اجلال مجید

मिटटी था, किसने चाक पे रख कर घुमा दिया
वह कौन हाथ थे कि जो चाहा बना दिया

Isn't it an amazing couplet? We often ask ourselves the same question. It is an age-old quest regarding the raison d'etre behind our existence but Ijlal Majeed's ghazal with the above mentioned matlaa' has said it in a unique way.

Was nothing but a handful of soil from the earth, turned
Who were those hands that created, had this form envisioned!

The mystery behind the creation. He has expressed it beautifully. Ijlal is brother of Iqbal Majeed, the rewnowed Urdu writer who is foremost contemporary fiction writer in Urdu after Intizar Husain in Pakistan and Naiyar Masood in India.

Iqbal Majeed is popular across the Urdu world though his association with radio affected his literary output earlier. His recent work, 'Namak', was a masterful novel. However, his brother Ijlal [pronouced Ijlaal] is a poet who prefers solitude.

To read the entire ghazal in Urdu, Hindi and English scripts. Click here  

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Poetry flares up passions: Gunshots over Mushaira verses

Photo courtesy: Mr Arjan Kumar* in TOI
After a Mushaira [Urdu poetry recital] two groups of youths had a bloody clash at Najibabad (UP). Both sides wielded arms and attacked each other with knives and daggers.

Gunshots were also fired and half-a-dozen were injured. Two critically injured youths who suffered bullet wounds were rushed to Meerut.

Both the groups that had violent clash belonged to Munirganj locality of Najibabad [Bijnore].

Reports say that the youths were having argument over the 'poetry' read by a poet in the mushaira for the last couple of days. However, trouble escalated when Rashid, Nazim, Sajid, Faisal and others attacked Saim, his brother Mamluk and others.

Supoporterrs of Saim also arrived on spot and both sides fired at each other. Had a police team passing by the area not stopped upon hearing the sounds of the commotion, the incident may have taken even a serious turn. The assailants have been arrested.

One of the versions says that it was difference over interpretation of a couplet and the subsequent argument in which one side mocked at the 'sher-fahmi' (understanding of poetic nuanaces) of the other group, which created the situation.

Such unique news items are found in Urdu newspapers only. Everyday I find 8-10 comprehensive mushaira reports... Today's paper has mushaira reports from Aligarh [Azar Academy at Hathi wala pul], Nanpara, Bahraich, Baghpat, Rampur and Khurja [from UP alone].

And each report is quite comprehensive. For example, if twenty poets recited at an event, then the best couplet recited by each poet is mentioned. Sharique Sahab is right about the obsession of Muslims and Muslim bloggers with Shaa'eri!

[Photo courtesy: Mr Arjun Kumar's link on Hidden Heritage]

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tale of Two Towns in One Malegaon: Muslim majority town in Maharashtra

Where else you will hear such names? Except, in Malegaon, the unique Maharashtra town.

Tension Chowk= Rumours emerge from here, spread in the city and cause tension

Achanak Nagar=Things happen here suddenly, Hindus had to move out suddenly from here

ChaoN ChaoN Road= No Chinese food this, due to the cacophony and hungama, 'yahaan hamesha chaaoN chaaoN machii rahtii hai'.

In Indian Express Anuradha Nagaraj did a good story on Malegaon. The names of the localities apart from the abovementioned are:

Rishwat Nagar, Ayodhya Nagar, Bajrangwadi and Islamabad, Tashkent Nagar, Tamba Kata and the river that divides the Hindu and Muslim parts of Malegaon is known as Mausam. Prashant Nadkar has taken good photos for the feature.

The team of Sahara news network that visited Malegaon recently also presented a good story on the town. They reported well about this city, its uniqueness, complexities as well as insecurities. 

'When asked about rumours of a body that had fake moustaches, recovered by police, some Muslim youths said that it is no big issue, as Faqirs came from all over the country on Shab Baraat so not unusual to have a Hindu fakir trying to appear as a Muslim and hoping to earn more'. The paper praised the youths for maintaining sanity in the hour of crisis.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Desi-Islamophobes hurt the most: Anti-Muslim comments on blogs, social networking websites

'Is Islam a peaceful religion?', this headline on websites like Desipundit and Desicritics with a QUESTION MARK that has clear mischievous undertones has saddened me.

Will any sane person write such a thing about any other religion or let it go as it is? Am I overreacting!

It doesn't hurt when Pope or a European politician says something about Islam. When some of my fellow countrymen show such ignorance, bias and insensitivity, it really hurts me.

And when well-known websites show such disregard to all civilised behaviour of society then I feel bad.

But then it is a nation where everybody has a bias against other. The moment a person turns away, the rest would readily make a comment on his caste/faith or sect. I tried to write a comment at desipundit and did write but I again felt that it is useless.

Provacations come from everywhere and you keep getting angry, reply back or rather explain your point and the cycle goes on. In real life those who have biases against you may not spell them out but web is a strange medium. It gives enormous powers to everybody.

You can spread harmony and you can surely do lot of hate-propaganda in order to pander to your personal grudges. The problem is that when you read people who write irresponsibly with a myopic vision either due to their own understanding or taken in by propaganda, you feel that a dialogue that at all levels should continue [as it is helpful for us, society and the nation].

Some persons will read and some of them might try to see your point also. But what's the way out when everywhere you find such provocations. How many people would you try to tell your side and make them understand that,...'See,...we are really good...actually this and actually that..believe us'....Won't it make you sick then?

Ya rab voh na samjhe haiN na samjheNge merii baat. So no more dialogues, no more responses to communal comments or posts anywhere and after learning these lessons, No More un-moderated comments on this blog.


Playing flute to a buffalo: How to deal with trolls, hate-speak and Islamophobes on the internet

How to deal with communal messages on Facebook and Twitter

Sunday, September 17, 2006

AnIndian Muslim's poem on humanity in response to Pope's comments regarding Islam

I am a Muslim
Believer in Almighty Allah
And His prophets, Muhammad being the last
...I have faith in Hazrat Isa, whom many call Jesus, and his miracles
As a kid I was also fascinated by Ramayana
And the army of Ramachandraji
The tales of Lord Krishna have enchanted me
And I have immense respect for them
[much before some one spoke about
And there are moments when the thought of Buddha of Kapilvastu makes me serene
I am also inspired by
Varddhaman's renunciation and the message of the saint from Talwandi*...
I respect them all

....but then who is this Pope?

Does his comments on a great religion and my beloved Prophet matter?....the least for me. [This article or verse was written in response to Pope Benedict's comments that were condemned across the world and Vatican had later issued a clarification]

*Guru Nanak was born in Talwandi, now known as Nankana Sahib [in Pakistan]

[mukhyadhara=mainstream or qaumi dhara, is the term used by right-wing in India, to tell Muslims that they are not yet part of the mainstream]

Thursday, September 14, 2006

From Mumbai to Malegaon: Skewed vision of police & Congress government's apathy

Role of Maharashtra police in terror probes has been far from satisfactory
It was befitting the Congress politicians, though they'd never have in their wildest dream, imagined such a response.

Malegaon residents snubbed Sonia Gandhi & Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who landed here a day after the blasts.

The Congress chief and the State chief minister had come to this 'power loom town' for a display of their concern towards people and handing out 'charity' of disbursing the pittance of Rs 1 lakh for every dead when the families had barely finished with the last rites.

1. Compensation that was sanctioned for the kin of victims in the Mumbai blasts was Rs 5 lakh, so it seems even the second class citizens of a third class city [infrastructure-wise] could have been offered, at least, Rs 2 lakh!

The compensations vary [depending on media coverage and other factors] like a boy rescued from a borewell hole who gets Rs 3-4 lakh and free education for life for suviving in a deep pit to Rs 3-5 lakh in Gujarat and UP for victims of terrorism and riots respectively.

2. The City of 8 lakh [0.8 million, 70% Muslim] has just one municipal-run hospital of 30 beds and no ambulance. The victims had to be ferried on handcarts to hospital and due to lack of facilities and beds, taken as far away to Nasik.

3. Deshmukh and other leaders of his party had made false promises of opening hospital in the past but they never materialised in the last 50 years. It was the same Congress government in the state that had let the police loose on ordinary Muslims in the aftermath of serial blasts of Mumbai.

There were incidents like as many as 200 Muslims getting rounded up from a locality in midnight swoops and illegally detained and the officials [politicians also] refused to believe that any 'other' extremist organisation could be involved in the blasts.

4.Though I hate this nomenclature of terrorists as Hindu or Muslim but the attitude of police was inexplicable even after the incidents in Parbhani, Jalna and Nanded apart from the blasts in Jama Masjid in New Delhi and incidents in Maharashtra when the hand of Bajrang Dal and other extremist groups was found.

Malegaon: A City that has been targeted repeatedly
5. It is not that I believe that organisations with Muslim sounding names would not kill Muslims [nothing could be more foolish than this thought] but investigative agencies should not appear so sympathetic to Bajrang Dal despite its repeated involvement that has been proved.

"It was in April this year that a bomb went off at the residence of Bajrang Dal officebearer Naresh Rajkondwar in Nanded. Naresh and his accomplice Himanshu Phanse died on the spot. The police seized timer, switches, detonators, 1.5 kg gunpowder from the spot. 

Two other accused died in the incident. The narco-analysis report was submitted to the police but they were reluctant to divulge the information about the three accused", writes Times of India, in its report, published on April 12.

Similarly, Sanjana Chaudhary, member of Bajrang Dal was arrested for bomb blast at a mosque in Parbhani but probe has not progressed even after Chaudhary's arrest, writes Nitisha Natu in the news item 'Police grope in the dark on Hindu groups'.

Besides, several incidents in 2002-2003 suggested Bajrang Dal hand but what angers the Muslim community is that the police and the state government simply ignore them and are not ready to link any possibility of their involvement with the Malegaon blast.

6. Even the fact that skullcaps and fake beards were recovered from the Bajrang Dal activists [reported by many national dailies], the state government and its agencies were not interested in probing the organisations and the links of suspects.

7. I remember when the blast occurred in Nanded, the Home Minister RR Patil immediately named 'Islamic terrorists' in a hurriedly called press conference but when the accused were arrested, his enthusiasm was missing and he neither went for a deeper probe. The accused were not labelled as terrorists either.

Why this double standard? Everybody knows RSS cadres have a history of bomb-making and involvement in fanning communal hatred despite propaganda of its being a cultural organisation in recent years [one need not remind that their men were involved in killing Gandhi and its involvement found in innumerable riots].

CM Sudhakar Rao Naik AND 92-93 Mumbai riots
8. Such was the Congress state government and state-machinery's response to blasts that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had to issue a statement and assert that 'role of Hindu organisations couldn't be ruled out' two days back.

But for Maharashtra government, it seems that a terrorist simply can't be a non-Muslim. The indiscriminate arrests of Muslims in the aftermath of Mumbai blasts suggested the approach.

The State Home department and Anti-Terror Squad of the state refused to believe that there could be another hand though the investigators were reportedly closing down on a group of Hindu extremists.

What angers the Muslims in Maharashtra is the chameleon like leaders of Congress though the Muslims have themselves fallen in the trap of the party due to lack of political alternative and the perpetual fear of BJP-Shiv Sena instilled by Congress leaders.

Time and again the Congress has come to power in Maharashtra with the promise of fair treatment to Muslims and the minorities have fallen in the trap again and again--the fear of 'right-wing BJP and the communal Shiv Sena'.

And after the PM's and Union Home Secretary's statements that involvement of no group could be categorically ruled out, the state police suddenly seems to have broadened the scope of their investigation process.

The ATS chief who had earlier 'ruled out the involvement of Hindu outfits' reached diametrically opposite stand of 'can't conform role of Hindu fundamentalist organisations yet'.

This was despite earlier leads as reported in papers that terrorist groups active in Kashmir would not have committed another incident as already terror trails were leading to Malegaon and it would have caused arrests of members of their sleeping cells.

Besides, there was belief of police that during Shab Barat such incident by a 'Muslim' terrorist group would 'antagonise Muslims' (as if Indian Muslims are not antagonised with terrorists already and Indian Muslims are't victims of terrorism)--Such communal vision in terror trail.

Now that most of the suspects caught are not Muslims, the point is not that Muslims can't be involved, anybody could be and must be treated alike. The investigators should be open-minded and must not be biased to such an extent, as witnessed recently.
9. Now the verdict for Mumbai blasts is all set to be delivered, it is pertinent to remember the role of the then Congress Chief Minister (late) Sudhakar Rao Naik. Of course, the Shiv Sena perpetrated the riots that caused over a 1,000 deaths but it was absolute inaction of Congress Chief Minister, who had refused to take action & let the rioters kill citizens in December- January 1992.

When prominent citizens approached him to rein in the rioters, he told them to go to Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray and request the latter to end the riots. The fate of the Justice Srikrishna Commission's report on riots is known to all.

The same Congress that promised action against policemen and politicians indicted by the Commission [part of its election promises] did not implement the report. Riots occurred before blasts but the petition for implementing the Commission report is pending with the Supreme Court. No effort was made to speed up the process for arrests of riot accused by government.

10. All terrorist acts are equally condemnable and the accused need toughest sentences. But absolute one-sided action and exonerating some militant groups just because they are not Muslim send bad signals. Except TOI and HT, Hindi and Marathi papers did not carry the stories about Bajrang Dal workers and the recovery of skull caps, fake beards. 

Why? [Does it not make a good copy like the one about mushrooming madarsas or madarsas breeding terror]. And when police and the other government agencies function in such a way, their credibility is seriously eroded. 

Unless there is confidence, share of information and good intelligence input would not come from the sections that feel alienated and persectued. Surely, the police and politicians must introspect for the sake of the nation.

And the worst is the politicians and mediamen parroting that Muslims and Hindus of Malegaon showed restrained and remained united. Fools, you think Muslims and Hindus who live in each and every town of India, are mad.

As if, we are ready to fight and kill each other in an hour of tragedy like the British thought of us: Hindus and Muslims, always raring to kill each other. Better you, politicians learn to control your own tongues and spare us of your biases. It would do good to all of us.

Read more posts on this blog on

1. Extra-judicial killings and Fake encounters
2. Terrorism

Saturday, September 09, 2006

har ek rang ka faqir...

پھنچا حضور شاہ ہر اک رنگ کا فقیر
پہنچا نہیں جو تھا وہی پہنچا ہوا فقیر

poNhchaa huzuur-e-shaah har ek rang ka faqiir
poNhchaa nahiiN jo...thaa vahii poNhchaa huaa faqiir

पहुंचा हुज़ूर-ए-शाह हर एक रंग का फ़क़ीर
पहुंचा नहीं जो था वही पहुंचा हुआ फ़क़ीर

Shuja'uddin Sajid alias Shuja Khawar। Former DCP Delhi, he quit Indian Police Service (IPS) as he felt himself misfit in the police. This stylish Delhi poet had penned his famous poem on Taj Mahal at a young age. He was bed-ridden for a long time due to serious illness and is back to business ie Shaa'eri.

Read his ghazal in Urdu, Hindi and Roman scripts at Best Ghazals.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Thank God Haj subsidy is gone

So the Haj Subsidy has gone. I consider it as a good news for Indian Muslims. The High Court has rejected application moved for vacating the stay order. The final hearing will be on September 18.

I am happy because whatever justification people may cite for the subsidy, it has haunted Indian Muslims for long. This will deprive the communalits of another issue. What remains is Article 370 about which we have no role. The BJP government could have done away with it but it failed when it was in power.

In fact, at least Indian citizens can any day go to Kashmir but what about states like Nagaland where you need permit to go. How many are aware of that? Allahabad High Court is known for taking tough decisions on issues concerning Muslims but I really feel relieved. I am not interested in hearing that 30 lakh Indians work in Gulf and it is a goodwill gesture or anyother explanation.

The subsidy had to go. Hopefully the centre won't play any trick later as some politicians may mistakenly think that Muslims want it. Surely majority of Muslims don't want it. Those who can afford will surely go and the private airlines will provide better and less expensive services.
(Above pix of a Sadhu hugging a Haji)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Apna Dal's offer to Abu Salem, Dawood angers Babloo Shrivastava

First of all, it was really a strange statement coming from a political party.

The news channels reported that mafia don Babloo Shrivastava has quit the Apna Dal.

He took the decision after the party chief Sonelal Patel offered Abu Salem and Dawood Ibrahim to contest on their party ticket.

The Apna Dal chiefly represents the Kurmi caste in Uttar Pradesh (UP). I cross-checked with newspapers and, yes, Patel said that at a function to release the English edition of Bablu's book Unfulfilled Dreams.

"We are not averse to giving tickets to criminals. If they leave the path of crime and want to contest the Assembly election, the Apna Dal welcomes them," its president Sonelal Patel said reports Times Of India, Financial Express and many others from Lucknow.

When asked about his views on fugitive Dawood Ibrahim and Abu Salem, Patel said that they could also contest if they leave the path of crime. Babloo had fought on the ticket of Apna Dal in the last election from jail and had lost the deposit.

However, after the statement of Patel, Babloo today looked aghast. Lodged in Bareilly jail, he said that he would no keep any relation with Apna Dal, float his own party that would fight terrorists. Only a few days back mafia don Abu Salem, extradited from Portugal, reportedly expressed his intention to fight elections.

His lawyer Harjot Singh had informed journalists about Salem's plans to contest from Mubarakpur in Azamgarh (UP). Sonelal Patel's party is much sought-after during elections and the polls in UP are just a few months away.

In a multi-cornered contest a shift of 1-2% matters a lot but Sonelal Patel's views of helping those criminals who wish to reform don't hold much water.

Patel is no angel and he surely knows the difference between criminals and terrorists. And Babloo, once an accomplice of various underworld dons, takes the high moral ground and seems to be posing as a patriotic don.

So he is hurt and has resigned from the party. Any hopes of cleansing the political system of the country! PS: Shivaji was a Kurmi, says wikipedia and of course Bihar CM Nitish Kumar is also a Kurmi.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fatwa Frenzy: Entire Muslim village asked to marry again as Deobandi Imam had led Barelvis in prayers

Alahazrat's shrine in Bareilly: Centre of Barelvi Thought
A Maulana has issued a FATWA, asking all Muslims in a village to again solemnise the 'nikaah' with their respective wives as their marriages had turned 'haraam'.

This 'enlightened' man, Mufti Abdul Mannan, issued the fatwa when villagers near Moradabad offered namaaz-e-janaazah [the prayer for the dead].

The Imam who led the prayers had come from another place and it was later found that the Imam was Deobandi [subscribed to Deoband school of thought].

Now villagers were Barelvis [theological school of Alahazrat Ahmed Reza Khan Barelvi]. The difference of 'maslak' dawned upon some villagers much later. The person was buried peacefully but the peace of village shattered there after as the fatwa reached them.

All Muslim men who had offered Namaz before the Deobandi Imam should re-marry their wives. Men from the age of 20 to 80; Age doesn't matter. The fatwa is stern. And when journalists reached the Mufti sahab, what he had to say!

Deoband seminary in Saharanpur: Centre of Deobandis
"You won't understand, it's an age-old issue between us and Deobandis, I have just re-issued the fatwa", said the cleric. 

Poor villagers were rushing to 'aalims' and some were even convinced that they should get a second 'nikaah' with the spouse. 

But the Mufti has at least proved that Indian Muslims are in no way a block or monolithic as many believe.

In many parts of the country, Deobandi Vs Barelvi rift has widened so much that if a person visits other sect's mosque they clean it [it happens in Eastern UP]. 

These sects live in separate clusters in some towns of North India where they don't have Roti-Beti relationship like other biradiris who are at conflict.

And the rift is getting widened as I find in conversations 'Bhaaiyyon ham log bhi ek doosre ke jaan ke dushman haiN aur hamare andar har woh zaat-paat, unch-nich maujood hai jo hamare hindu bhaiyyon me hai".

[We are after each other's throat, just like our fellow Hindu brethren, and are equally casteist]

Friday, September 01, 2006

From pro-Vande Mataram to opposing compulsory singing: Why a section of Muslims were against the song and opposed it?

This article was written in 2006. Since then, many times the song has led to controversy. A large number of Muslims have no objection to it but some non-Muslims who are aware of history also oppose it. Reasons for opposition are here:


Once every couple of years the controversy over singing Vande Matram erupts and I remember how I had supported the song in my school days and how my views changed later. [It's not about turning a fundamentalist with age].

I was a good student of Sanskrit, learnt scores of shlokas and was quite interested in its grammar. Hence, I felt that the song does not exactly mean worship and could be sung.

I had a heated debate with many elderly family members then and I always felt that there was no problem in singing it.

The translation of the song makes wonderful reading. The Urdu translation which can be understood by many more Indians than the original words is even more nice to ears.

And after reading the sick novel of Bankim Chandra Chatterji, I still don't have objection to anybody singing it but forcing it, NO. In fact, it was a non-Muslim Bengali friend who had told me about the nature of this novel.

I am no less patriotic than any Indian irrespective of their faith and my ancestors have also done their bit towards strengthening the composite culture and unity of this country. My great grandfather has praised Lord Krishna and Prophet Muhammad in the same breath and patriotism has been part of my Imaan.

I need not give any clarification on that. But if any body has delusions of having a patriotism-meter with which he can test my love towards my motherland, then I don't give this right to anybody, sorry, you would be frustrated.

Bankim Chandra wrote a treacherous novel and anybody who has ever read it will never defend it or the song. The novel is disgusting and its shameful that an Indian wrote it. We have had great Hindu nationalists from the revivalist Vivekananda and a strong Arya Samaji like Pt Ram Prasad Bismil, who held Ashfaq as his younger brother.

Their letters and account of those years can bring tears to our eyes. They all saw Hindus and Muslims as One People, One Race. From 1857 to 1870, more than ONE LAKH Hindus and Muslims were executed by British.

Each day hundreds were sent to gallows in Delhi alone. And Chatterjee makes a mockery of all that. The characters..Jivananad, Bhavanand, Mahendra and Satyananda are all fake...'Jahaan woh musalmaan ka gaaon dekhte use aag ke havaale kar dete' [wherever they found a Muslim village they would set it afire, kill all].

Read the translation in Hindi if you don't know Bangla and the novel is full of words like Mlechhca, Haramkhor, Suar about ordinary Muslims. The killing of Muslims is the aim and arrival of British is their hour of glory. What kind of a revolution is this?

An intense hate of Muslims coupled with an admiration for the WHITE RACE or what? That was why leaders like Subhas Chandra Bose opposed the song. This novel and the song is a betrayal to all that our martyrs and freedom fighters stood for.

Even the two stanzas that are not controversial mean something else in context of the novel. And even if we ignore historical aspect of the song and this novel that kills the dream of millions of freedom fighters and the idea of India itself, I see another design in forcing the song to be sung.

I am proud national of a proud nation. I will surely protest, If I turn evasive things are forced one after other on me. Already the names of all Muslim freedom fighters have been forgotten. The poor Maulana Azad also lost his place this August 15.

The RSS and its sister organisations have already succeeded in many of their plans. They have maligned the Muslims as fundamentalists and terrorists, demonised the madarsas and got us from 30% in jobs to 1% but still we are being APPEASED.

If Vande Mataram is not opposed, then compulsory Saraswati Vandana is the next to come. Just a few years back the NDA government had tried to do that. And then Puja is also not far away. What's the problem?

It may be just a circular in Delhi but when it goes to small government schools in rural areas it becomes more of a norm. I remember my teachers in school just not accepting any argument without even reading a line of the novel or understanding Sanskrit.

Things are happening fast. The agenda is at work. Babri Masjid was demolished. The RSS leaders who had gone to Spain to see how Muslims were eliminated there got it replicated in Gujarat. Muslims have been a target of their campaign as Fifth Columnists.

And the secular parties, intellectuals are silent. Do the journalists who debate on such a issue and keep sermonising us that it was the song of independence movement have the credibility to speak on the subject without reading the book and knowing that it served to defeat our unity.

I was surprised to see the reaction of Sabyasachi Mukerjee, who has written a whole book on Vande Mataram, feign ignorance about its religious context and the anti-national message of Anand Math besides giving a sort of clean-chit to song and wondering why the fuss over it. In BJP-ruled states the madarsas have been directed to publicly render the song.

When 800 farmers commit suicide in Vidarbha alone without a whimper owing to debt and it doesn't become an issue but the Vande Mataram becomes an issue, I must marvel at the way the Sangh is functioning like a monstrous hydra across the political, social, journalistic and other spectra.

But this country can't be allowed to be hijacked by people who have a parochial agenda, who want to turn India like states of Middle East or our failed neighbours where no debate is possible.

Innumerable Hindu brothers will always come forward to defend our right not be forced to sing Vande Matram, I know. They are seeing the trap laid for all of us. I am hopeful the voices would emerge from all nook and corner. This is the beauty of this country.

I don't want confrontation but sometimes if you don't speak and pour your heart out, you are pushed to wall. Read more on here to find why even the two stanzas that are termed as 'should not be objectionable' mean something else.

It is not correct to say that Muslims are anti-Vande Mataram. A section feels that it should not be made compulsory and shouldn't be used as a test of patriotism. That's all. We know its our national song. It has a place along side the national anthem.

In fact, majority of Muslim students voluntarily and happily sing it. Some do oppose it and in a mature democracy there should be a scope for disagreement also. Shouldn't there be? 

For how long Muslims in India will be put to humiliation through such tests on their LOYALTY and Patriotism. I request you to read the novel before making any comment. I assure you you will be disgusted.

Also, more posts on A Faizur Rahman's article at Hindustan on this issue.