Mumbai: Muslim activists have slammed Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi for stating that he will not chant ‘Vande Mataram’. While taking part in a debate on the recent communal riots in Aurangabad on Wednesday in the legislative assembly, Azmi said as a Muslim he cannot chant the national song. He said as per the Koran a Muslim can bow his head only before Allah and no one else.
Hussain Dalwai slams Abu Azmi
Vice-president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) Hussain Dalwai came down heavily on Azmi and accused him of distorting the Koran. “There is absolutely nothing in Islam which prevents an Indian Muslim from chanting ‘Vande Mataram’. Many Muslims do chant the national song and yet remain true to their religion,” he said.
Dalwai observed that the Koran, actually, enjoins Muslims to be loyal to their motherland. Moreover, a true Muslim will not indulge in smuggling and other such criminal activities. “Islam is our religion and the national song is a part of our culture. Thousands of martyrs have kissed the noose, shouted ‘Vande Mataram’ and then gone to the gallows. How can anyone ignore this sacrifice?” Dalwai asked.
Secretary of the Centre for the Study of Society and Secularism, Irfan Engineer, said it’s a travesty to claim that the Koran debars Muslims from chanting ‘Vande Mataram’. “In fact, loyalty to one’s nation is an integral part of Islam. Those claiming otherwise are furthering their political agenda,” he noted, adding that in the pre-Independence period the Muslim League misused the Koran to advance its sinister gameplan and the same thing was being done now by certain political parties, claiming to be champions of Muslim interests.
Engineer alleged, “The fact is that these elements are helping the Hindu right to achieve its aim of communal polarisation. Azmi’s statement is to be seen in the context of the upcoming elections.”
Irfan Ali Pirzade, a noted activist said the average Muslim is not opposed to ‘Vande Mataram’. During the freedom struggle and post-1947, Muslims have chanted this patriotic song. “Only the Wahabis have objection to the song. And Azmi is a wahabi,” he added.