Muslims are allowed to say Vande Mataram

The journey of “Vande Mataram” and “Bharat mata ki jai”, the track record

The present work deals with two cultural terms that have an outstanding meaning in the current Indian cultural context. They are Vande Mataram and Bharat mata ki jai. This study addresses the main questions such as “in what perspective can these slogans be seen as personifications of Indian culture”? "What was the historical course of these slogans"?


Vande Mataram

Vande Mataram is the first line of a Bengali poem written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in 1875. This means, "Mother, I bow to you or I praise you, mother". Chatterjee took this poem in his 1882 novel Anandamath. The poem was composed for a song by Rabindranath Tagore. The first two verses of the song were adopted as the National Song of India by the National Working Committee of Congress in October 1937.

This ode to the mother goddess was written in Bengali. The "mother goddess" was interpreted as the motherland of the people in later verses of the song, although this was not explicitly mentioned in the text.

It played an important role in the Indian independence movement and was first sung in a political context by Rabindranath Tagore at the session of the Indian National Congress in 1896. It became a popular marching song for political activism and Indian freedom movement when the Viceroy of India, Curzon, announced the decision to partition Bengal on July 19, 1905. The song and its accompanying novel were banned by the British government, but workers and audiences opposed the ban, many going to colonial prisons for singing it. In 1950 the first two verses of the song were declared the "National Song" of the Republic of India. These two verses of the song are abstract references to mother and motherland and, unlike later verses that mention goddesses like Durga, do not mention any Hindu deity.

As a slogan, Vande Mataram became popular with the general public during the Bengali Partition in 1905. The best thing that should be mentioned here is that at this point, Vande Mataram was accepted without prejudice by the Hindu and Muslim communities alike.

The discussion of Vande Mataram's religious affinity with Hinduism arose when the Congress Party made it the national song at its 1939 session. The Muslim League political party and its leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah disagreed with the song. Thereafter, the Indian National Congress, with the assistance of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawahar Lal Nehru, decided to take only the first two stanzas as the national song for public gatherings, and other verses containing references to Durga and Lakshmi were expelled.

Bharat mata ki jai

Bharat Mata, in Hindi, means mother India. It is the personification of the mother country of India. In other words: You can say that it is a Hindi version of Vande Mataram.

According to Sumathi Ramaswamy, the conceptual development of Bharat Mata as an embodied area began in the late 19th century. Its use by Indian nationalists in their struggle against British rule in the form of a slogan (Bharath Mata ki jai) goes back to the time of the partition of the Bengal, just like the slogan of Vande Mataram.

Unlike Vande Mataram, which has a specific origin, the origin of Bharat Mata or Bharath Mata Ki Jai is unknown and nowhere is it well documented. However, one can understand that the idea came to mind during the struggle for freedom at the beginning of the 19th century.

It should be noted here that the drama entitled Bhārat Mātā by Kiran Chandra Banerjee, Bengali author, which premiered in 1873, was published long after the concept of Bharat Mata was already in circulation.

Over time, the concept of Bharath Mata received the mapped female form through the hands of a number of eminent Indian artists such as, Abanindranath Tagore, Haldar, Satvalekar, MF Husain, etc. In the 1930s, the Bharat Mata image entered religious practice a. The Bharat Mata Temple was built in 1936 in Benaras by Shiv Prashad Gupt and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. This temple has no religious deity, just a marble relief from the map of India.

The religious affiliation of these slogans has been a matter of dispute for the Muslim minority community in India. That was clear and unambiguous from the Muslim League's opposition to the acceptance of Vande Mataram as a national song.

Kalyani Devaki Menon argues that "India's standing as Bharat Mata has profound implications for the politics of Hindu nationalism," and that portraying India as a Hindu goddess implies that this is not only the patriotic but also the religious duty of all Hindus participate in nationalist struggle in defense of the nation ”. It was later decided by RSS, one of the strong Hindutva parties, that at the end of the promise, their followers must proclaim Bharat Mata ki Jai "


Subair. PM

PhD student, JNU, New Delhi