Muslims won't say 'Vande Mataram': Opposition slams Maha govt for deflecting from core issues

Maharashtra government on October 1 issued a Government Resolution that mandated every government employee to use 'Vande Mataram' instead of 'hello' while communicating with public or other officials on call or in person.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, October 02, 2022, 03:42 PM IST
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Waris Pathan (Left), Abbu Azmi (Centre) and Charan Sapra (Right) | FPJ

The Maharashtra government on October 1 had issued a Government Resolution (GR) directing government employees to greet with 'Vande Mataram' instead of 'Hello' while addressing public or government officials and also while making public announcements. The campaign was launched across the state on October 2, Gandhi jayanti.

However, the campaign stirred controversy as many leaders from different political parties in the state camwdown hard on the government for making this move.

Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi on Sunday said that the state had always had a 'Jai Maharashtra' greeting since Balasaheb Thackeray's time and this new resolution is polarising.

"Sir Eknath Shinde, you are Shiv Sainik of Balasaheb Thackeray; whenever he met, he greeted by saying Jai Maharashtra. But today instead of Jai Maharashtra, the GR of saying Vande Mataram seems that you have come under the pressure of BJP and RSS who only know how to divide people," he said tweeting a video.

In his video he further stated that Muslims cannot say 'Vande Mataram' since they only bow in front of Allah. "A devout Muslim will never bow down in front of anyone except Allah; we love our country but we can never say 'Vande Mataram'," he added.

Meanwhile, Congress Spokeperson Charan Sapra alleged that this government resolution was a ploy to divert attention from pressing issues like inflation, unemployment, Rupee fall,etc. He said, "We are not against using 'Vande Mataram' but why the change? Will saying the phrase bring down inflation, solve issues of unemployment. It is a ploy of divisive politics and garner votes for BJP."

AIMIM leader Waris Pathan also said the Sena-BJP government was trying to deflect public and media attention from core issues. "They [BJP] talk about renaming cities and etc. Will this solve issues of inflation, unemployment? Their mentality has always been of diverting attention from pressing issues"

"What happens if one does not say 'Vande Mataram'? Will they jail them, hang them or penalise them," he questioned.

Reportedly, NCP National Spokesperson Clyde Crasto also said that the phrase may invoke a sense of pride and patriotism but they shouldn't be forced. He was quoted as saying that since the government is forcing the empployees to use Vande Mataram even on their private telephones is nothing but infringement of their Right to Freedom of speech. Crasto said that people should be allowed to say 'Vande Mataram' with pride instead of being forced.

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