“It’s about our country, not religion. Why a fatwa? ” – this was my mom’s first reaction when I told her about the issuing of the Fatwa against singing Vande-Mataram in schools by a cleric in Hyderabad. And I sure it would be the same reaction of loads of liberal Hindu & Muslim brethren across the world.
After reading Islam – A short History by Karen Armstrong, a cognitive analysis that dwells deep into the basic tenets of Islam, I was convinced that dualisms do exist regarding the interpretation of certain laws and ideals concerning god and ‘its’ worship. Yes, survival and unity were questioned in those dark times and a light was shown towards the one supreme entity, Allah. None were allowed to ask questions and there was no room for ambiguity unlike most other religions concerning to where a follower of a particular faith’s allegiance lay. But land, especially mother-land had more to do with the sense of belonging and love than any religious connotations.
Issuing fatwa against singing praises to motherland may corrupt the basic ideology of “one & only one god” of Islam but considering why such a practice of singing patriotic songs is included in the first place, it justifies itself. Most schools are non-sectarian. Maybe minority or missionary but most are non-religious. In most educational institutions prayers are offered to a universal god and uniforms ensure equality. All religions are respected and upheld in the highest honor. Patriotic songs are encouraged because irrespective of our belief systems our nationality is same for everyone. Why conflict then?
Education, the only path to peace and prosperity, if diluted on the basis of religious sentiments will only lead to more dark times. The people issuing fatwa’s are all scholars. Mufti’s and Clerics, men of the highest faith and honor, well educated and well read. Then why are all these non-issues cropping up?
Hey I believe that to reach a place of prominence in any society or faith, one need’s to be very intelligent and logical. Then how come an issue like patriotic song demeans a religion?
An objective analysis may conclude that it’s just for publicity and a few seconds of fame but considering all that’s happening in the society around me, there seems to be a certain friction among people, brothers, friends and relative alike. Issues, trivial in the beginning are dividing people and raising discontentment among men. Fatwa’s, reservations, double-standards in polity, irrational arguments, lack of common sense when dealing with the issues at hand, the list is endless.
It feels like there is a deep sense of resentment among people against their own brothers and friends. Issues are cropping up from long buried graves to create rift among the populace. There is ‘injustice’ being shouted by some section or the other everyday. For the first time in my life I am having a feeling of insecurity in my own land. It’s all alien to me, these protests, and these policies that clearly are against common man and public will.
Education and development is supposed to make the society a much more tolerant, sensible and proactive place. I don’t get the feeling that its happening any more.