Jamiat downplays Vande Mataram issue

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New Delhi, Nov 4 (ANI): The Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, which issued a fatwa (legal pronouncement in Islam) against singing of India's national song Vande Mataram by Muslim community, down played the issue on Wednesday.

The Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind passed the fatwa on Tuesday during its 30th general session at the Islamic seminary in Deoband, saying that some of the verses of the song are against the tenets of their religion.

Some Muslim groups say singing the song Vande Mataram would be against Islam because it had strong connotations of Hindu deity worship as it reveres India as a holy goddess.

Talking to ANI in New Delhi, General Secretary of Jamiat Ulema-i- Hind Mehmood Madani said: "We never wanted to make it a big issue on Vande Mataram, our mission is to build bridges to diffuse communal passions."

"We intentionally did not pass the resolution on Vande Mataram in front of the public gathering because we did not want to make it a big issue," he added.

Making a veiled attack on right wing organisations, Madani said: "The fatwa (legal pronouncement in Islam) has been there for long, we have just passed a resolution since many small organisations were trying to raise the issue asking revocation of the fatwa.

"Since we were organising a conference in Deoband, therefore it became necessary for us to clear our point of view by bringing in the resolution," he added.

On the invitation to Union Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram to attend the conference, Madni said other leaders were also invited.

"We did not want just the Home Minister to come, it has been the tradition of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, to invite leaders of all political parties. We invited Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, and we invited Congress chief, but they did not come. We even invited Manmohan Singh," Madni said.

Meanwhile, Chidambaram clarified on Wednesday that he was not present in the conference at the time when the resolution was adopted in Deoband on Tuesday.

Although it was expected to become the national anthem when Indian became independent in 1947, similar objections by Muslims aw another song becoming the anthem. (ANI)

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