Chanting the Bharat Mata Slogan – Right or Wrong?

Defending Art 35A not anti-national activity: Omar ABdullah

Shah-e-Hamdan Urs observed with religious fervor

Muslim and Hindu leaders attend Onam celebrations together in Kodinhi: Malappuram

Tribal man Lal Hussaina beaten by Cow Vigilantes in J&K

Mumbai rains: Death toll reaches six, heavy rains lash Andheri, Thane

Deadline for Aadhaar to avail social welfare schemes extended to Dec 31: Centre to SC

Who is Poor in India

भाजपा के समर्थन से गुरूवार को नीतीश कुमार लेंगे फिर से मुख्यमंत्री पद की शपथ

Students of Aliah University take out march against recent communal tensions in Bengal

Tanzeem-e-Jafferi, organised Youm-i-Qudas in Hyderabad

Youm-i-Qudas observed in Kashmir to condemn the continuous occupation of Israel in Palestine

Imran Ansari: Iran is peace loving nation, ‘Geelani’s statement on Iran is regrettable’

‘भाजपा अगर जीती तो मेघालय में सस्ती हो जाएगी बीफ़’

Govt. of India ‘totally agrees’ with army chief’s ‘dirty war’ remark

Police foil Hindu right wing’s bid to evoke communal violence following desecration of temple in Malappuram

Restrictions, shutdown cripple life in Kashmir Valley for 2nd day

Kashmir Day 2: Curfew, restrictions continue

पीएम मोदी से मुलाक़ात कर मुस्लिम धर्म-गुरूओं ने कौन सा वादा तोड़ा?

Rozina Sheikh, whose mother works as a tailor, scores 97 percentile rank in Class 12; aspires to become a doctor

Protest against Molestation: 80 Girls quit School and sit on Hunger Strike in Haryana

Police implicating in fake cases, self-defense training is not against any religion: DJS

Govt bans Facebook, Whatsapp among 22 social networking sites in Kashmir

Sabarmati Express blast: Supreme Court grants bail to former AMU scholar

BJP Govt. has no policy to handle Naxalism: Owaisi

Muslims must work with other marginalised communitie to counter RSS propoganda

UP government cancels 15 holidays, including Alvida Juma and Id-Milad-un-Nabi

Narendra Modi does not want peace with Pakistan: Musharraf

26 CRPF men killed in Chhattisgarh naxal attack

Babri Hunts Advani’s dream to become President of India

Whatsapp group admins may land in jail for offensive posts

Jamia VC urges students to join armed forces

जिनकी क़लम गांधी को चम्पारण खींच लाई…

Amarnath Yatra a case of ‘militarised pilgrimage’, says Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society in report

मोदी के ‘गांधी’ की हुई जीत, नीतीश के ‘गांधी’ को लौटना पड़ा वापस!

विश्व स्वास्थ्य दिवस गुज़र गया, लेकिन इन आदिवासी महिला किसानों की किसी से न भी सुनी…

The dangers of communalising the issue of Kashmir

If you want to ban triple talaq then also reinstate 'sati pratha': Azam Khan

South Kashmir resident hit by bullet on poll-day in Ganderbal succumbs

Amid Kashmir calm, protests reach Banihal

Indian Media maligns Muslims with false verdicts

“To maintain secularism and tolerance, it is necessary to work on Sir Syed’s thoughts”

Those giving Talaq against ‘Sharia’ law will face social boycott: AIMPLB

Triple Talaq row: AIMPLB questions PM Modi’s repeated ‘interference’

BJP says Quota is Un-Islamic

Don’t want conflict in Muslim society over triple talaq: Modi

एक दलित नेता ने नसीमुद्दीन को बताया ‘दलाल’, लगाया शहर में पोस्टर

Imran Ansari visits flood-hit areas of Pattan

Kashmir: Youth shot dead in Batamaloo

Tying a boy with Army jeep ‘an open terrorism’: Hurriyat (M)

Delhi HC rejects plea challenging validity of JK’s special status

If Jadhav hanged, India must recognise Balochistan an independent country: Swamy

Bajrang Dal spreads venom against muslims in Hanuman Jayanti rally, case registered

Amid 3 civilian killings, by-polls in Srinagar Parl constituency witnesses 3.12 percent voting

Jamaat-e-Islami to start awareness campaign on Triple Talaq

Flood threat persists in Srinagar, ends in South: Govt

Kashmir Mirwaiz Umar Farooq reiterates poll boycott

Families of Muslim undertrials killed losing hope in Judiciary

Curfew imposed in Bhadrak town after violence

US warships fire cruise missiles on Syrian airbase

Kashmiri photographer wins Wisden-MCC cricket photograph of the year award

Muslim youth beaten during Ram Navami Yatra, police registered a case

Fir against Bengal BJP chief for being armed in Ram Navmi rally

Two die, seven injured due to weather vagaries

Shia-Sunni Coordination Committee pitches for election boycott

Kashmir: Govt declares flood

Launch of ‘Unite India’ App to promote Indian Nationalism

Pakistan welcomes US offer of mediation; India rejects

NC-Cong responsible for Afzal Guru’s hanging: Qazi Yasir

बिहार के बिक्रमगंज में साम्प्रदायिक तनाव, फिलहाल स्थिति नियंत्रण में

मीडिया की ये ख़बर भी निकली झूठी, खुद दरगाह के दीवान ने किया खंडन

Law and order disrupted in Bhainsa during Ram Navami procession

Imam of Tipu Masjid demands Ban on “Rss” After “Armed” Rallies on Ram Navami

“Pale shadow of Harmony will remain” – Saeed Naqvi in AMU

तो क्या अब योगी खोलेंगे देवबंद में आधुनिक स्लाटर हाउस या ख़बर है फ़र्ज़ी?

Triple talaq against Sharia, Muslims should refrain from eating cow meat: Dewan Ajmer Syed Zainul Abedin Ali Khan

Five men brutally beaten up by Gau Rakshaks in Alwar, 1 dead

Kerala Sunni Students Federation to adopt villages damaged by police in Malappuram

Choose between ‘terrorism’ and tourism: Modi

Islamic Calligraphy exhibition in Jeddah

Construction of Mosque in Ayodhya is a matter of ego for muslims: Vinay Katiyar

Meat Ban hits Muslims mass marriage in UP

Bloodbath in Kashmir: 3 civilians and one militant killed in forces’ firing in Chadoora

A mosque can be demolished, but not temple: Swamy

Missing JUN Student: Delhi court to hear students plea today

In Yogi's regime, Lucknow goes vegetarian

No out-of-court settlement with modi, Yogi at helm: BMAC

Kashmir-based environmental film wins ‘Palmdale Vision Award’ in USA

क्या मरहूम हाशिम अंसारी के बेटे इक़बाल इस जंग की रिवायत को बरक़रार रख पाएंगे?

Akbaruddin Owaisi attack case: “I did not register the murder report”-Inspector of Police

Four months after Faisal’s murder, Kodinhi residents continue fight for justice, support his family

देवबंद में भाजपा की जीत, क्या है सचाई?

राहुल-अखिलेश, मोदी मुसलमानों को साध रहे थे, तब कैसी थी मायावती की रैली

क्या मुसलमान सैय्यद शहाबुद्दीन के सपनों को आगे बढ़ा सकते हैं?

Ex-diplomat & former MP Syed Shahabuddin dead at 82

Iran sees progress in Hajj talks with Saudi

Kashmir: 2 militants, policeman killed in Tral gunfight

MIM MLA booked for assaulting woman TRS Activist


Communal tension in Lakhimpur over objectionable video

No room for intolerant Indian, says Mukherjee

2016-05-15 05:59:05

Chanting the Bharat Mata Slogan – Right or Wrong?

The long-standing ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ slogan dating back to the pre-independence era of India is in the eye of the storm after it caught political wind coercing the religious connotation of the slogan in the limelight, alongside three-time Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi once again for his ‘controversial’ remarks.  
In the latest controversial standoff, Owaisi responded to right wing RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks, during a public meeting where the former had openly refused from raising the slogan Bharat Mata Ki Jai (Long Live Mother India) and going as far saying “I won’t…even if a knife is put to my throat”.  And he is right, well mostly.

While the agenda of patriotic sloganeering has been duly politicized before (remember the Vande Mataram debate?) and made vulnerable to communal friction at national level with oblique sensitization by the media, it is right time that we debate the issue. And it is now.

For a long time, Muslims in India went through a psychological grinder when issues like Babri Masjid, Uniform Civil Code and more recently Beef Ban and Surya Namaskar were pressed to the discomfort of Muslim sentiment. In the 90s era, when the Uttar Pradesh government ordered to make recitation of ‘Vande Mataram’ by students in all schools of the state, Islamic Scholar of the 20th Century Late Maulana Syed Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi advised the Muslims to stop sending their children to these schools and his instruction forced the government to withdraw its orders.

The Islamic law encourages Muslims to respect and abide by the law of the land, therefore to begin with, there’s no way Islam or Muslims are even remotely on the anti-national front if they speak about this issue. Or say, practising ‘sedition’. Why should we even discuss ‘sedition’ here? How can we term it anti-national if the phrase has ambiguous interpretations that extend beyond patriotic lines into religious territory? And more so, in a ‘secular’ country.

Where does the constitution say that if you deny chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, you will be liable to legal processing for ánti-national’ conduct? It is a choice – a choice of freedom of expression, and freedom to practice any religion – both guaranteed strongly by the Constitution of India.

On the same lines, it must be acknowledged that it is not constitutionally or legally imperative upon any citizen, let alone a Muslim, to chant the Bharat Mata Ki Jai mantra. Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi has put it rightly. And his staunch remarks kicked off a debate that was waiting to happen, sooner or later.
It doesn’t take anything more than common sense to understand that patriotism cannot be forced into someone. It is either innate or imbibed. And many Muslim patriots too have shed their blood to make India what it is today, a religiously liberal global icon.

For a Muslim, the fundamental testament of religious faith is pledging allegiance to the Oneness of God (‘Tawheed’, in Arabic) and testifying Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) is His messenger. Any effort or action of a Muslim that conflicts with either of these two fundamental parts of Islamic faith or both denounces a Muslim from his religion, expelling him from Islam.

According to Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “It is necessary upon a Muslim to listen to and obey the ruler, as long as one is not ordered to carry out a sin. If he is commanded to commit a sin, then there is no adherence and obedience.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 2796 & Sunan Tirmidhi)

For a Muslim, chanting Bharat Mata Ki Jai is a religious sin, if not political or national, particularly when cognizant that the same slogan is used by people of other faith, and that it has a different religiously meaning to other faith.

In the slogan, Bharat Mata Ki Jai, while the words Bharat meaning India and Mata meaning Mother may at once seem isolated or have nothing to do with the religion, when used together the two words ‘Bharat Mata’ (Mother India) yield a mantra that is not viable for Muslims, essentially so because these two words together symbolize not just, as RSS or BJP ‘nationalists’ would say, ‘patriotism’ but are also the personification of the goddess duly worshipped by people of the Hindu faith. 

If Indian patriotism were to be framed into a slogan and chanted by all, it could have been ‘Hindustan Zindabad’ or ‘Saare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara’ – both of which are inviolable catchwords of patriotic fervour and have no religious roleplay but pure nationalism. Furthermore, unlike the ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ slogan they do not intercept the religious sentiments of India’s second largest Majority, the Muslims. 

The motto ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ is also used by the Indian Army. But the Bharat Mata statue at the Indian Army base gate near Leh, Ladakh is not just the Bharat Mata of patriotism. It symbolizes the Hindu goddess draped in a red saree and seated on a Lion – a divinely figurative long used to depict the Hindu deity – idols of which can be found in thousands of temples across India. So, is it just a patriotic slogan? Now, you’re thinking.

India’s majority population, the Hindus, chant eulogies of Bharat Mata and these are not political but rather vocal or verbal expressions of their religious faith. When the words itself have ambiguous implications and more so conflicting with the Muslim religious ideology in an inter-faith society, how can one expect the Muslims to chant that mantra.

In ancient times, when the Prophet’s companions, inspired by the non-Muslim Arab locals, began addressing the Prophet as ‘Raína’ which in Arabic respectfully meant “guide us”, a divine revelation instructed against the use of the word ‘’Raina’ by Muslims for the Prophet (PBUH). While the Prophet’s companions had reverently used the word ‘Rai’na’, it had an offensive interpretation in Hebrew which the Jews of Madina mischievously used to address the Prophet with an intention to make fun of him.” 

Allah ordered the Prophet’s companion’s from using the word in this Quranic Verse (Al Baqarah, Verse No: 104): “O you who believe! Do not say Raina and say Unzurna and listen, and for the unbelievers there is a painful chastisement.”

This verse is pertinent to be mentioned here since the word ‘’Rai’na’ had ambiguous interpretation and so it was declared forbidden for use to address the Prophet (PBUH).

Since the constitution generously grants every citizen the liberty to practise any faith (Article 15 and Article 21, Constitution of India), it is not binding on any citizen, let alone a Muslim, to utter the phrase ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. So, if Asaduddin Owaisi or his party’s MLAs deny allegiance to the RSS’s sloganeering agenda, it must be interpreted in the context of political and religious priorities and not draped into a colour of anti-nationalism.
In short, there is a difference between Muslims loving India and Muslims worshipping India, the latter is forbidden in Islam, and the Constitution in accordance with the Islamic Law (Shariah) allows sufficient freedom to practice the religion of choice, including the choice adherent.

Today, the debate may seem about whether or not we should say Bharat Mata Ki Jai, tomorrow it will something more, and beyond. And when that happens, peace keepers will have to face an unprecedented challenge, a challenge so rioting that it would tear the country’s colourful secular fabric into monochromatic streaks of different faiths.

Right now, Muslims are divided into two groups – people with sufficient cognizance of the Islamic teachings support Asaduddin Owaisi’s remark and the other section of so called ‘moderate’ Muslims, with merely surface knowledge of Islam, do not bother about the intricacies and fail to get the facts straight. 

[Syed Khaled Shahbaaz is a techie-turned-journalist. He may be reached at or +91-9652828710]

Categories:   Features ، From India ، Opinion ،
From other agencies (RSS Reader)

Elderly man abducted in Dadenggre