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Mudda panellists feel Vande Mataram controversy kept alive by political parties, some of whom are playing the communal card even as their opponents continue with old-style vote bank politics

The Vande Mataram controversy never seems to go away. With Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu’s latest comments—“if not your mother, who would you salute, Afzal Guru”—arguing why everyone should sing the national song because its words, after all, mean saluting one’s mother—it is again the talk of drawing rooms and pubs.

The newly elected mayor of Meerut has, meanwhile, overturned an erstwhile order that asked all employees to sing Vande Mataram before municipal corporation meetings. Friday’s edition of Mudda discussed this political controversy.  

The show was anchored by Anant Tyagi. The panellists were CB Pandey, constitution expert, Congress spokesperson Suchi Vishwas, BJP leader Sanjay Singh, advocate Ajmal Khan and APN consulting editor Govind Pant Raju.

The spouse of BSP mayor Sunita Verma joined the debate through telephone. He clarified that whatever there is in the constitution will be followed. He said that if it would be sung in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, municipal corporation meetings will also have it.

Pandey said that politicisation of the constitution is bad. He tried to sit on the fence, saying that the vice-president unnecessarily brought in the matter of respecting the mother and then the reference of Afzal Guru whereas in Meerut, they are opposing the singing of Vande Mataram which is equally bad.  

Ajmal Khan explained what the dilemma of a common Indian Muslim is when it comes to singing Vande Mataram. “We do not worship even our mothers in Islam,” said Khan. Indian Muslims have the 1,400-year-old religion and the 70-year-old constitution. He said that Islam has different sects and all those sects have their own interpretation. He said that not everyone can think like CB Pandey.

When Khan was asked whether or not the Muslims should be thankful towards the country and do their duty, he replied that Indian Muslims are indeed thankful and do fulfil their duties. “From Usman to APJ Abdul Kalam, each one of them has done their duty,” said Khan.

Raju summed up the debate by saying that the entire problem arises when Vande Mataram is politicised. He said that political parties which are opposing it think this would please the Muslims whereas the ones who support it try to divide people in the name of religion and caste.

Compiled by Lilly Paul

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