Muslim councillors in Meerut walk out during Vande Mataram, membership terminated | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Muslim councillors in Meerut walk out during Vande Mataram, membership terminated

The Muslim members said they will continue to boycott Vande Mataram “as the Sharia law does not allow them to sing it and that they will move court over the issue if necessary”.

india Updated: Mar 30, 2017 17:22 IST
The Supreme Court in 2016 asked all cinemas to play the national anthem before a film is screened, igniting a debate over whether an assertive brand of nationalistic pride is stifling civil liberties.
The Supreme Court in 2016 asked all cinemas to play the national anthem before a film is screened, igniting a debate over whether an assertive brand of nationalistic pride is stifling civil liberties.(HT File/ Representational Photo)

A group of Muslim councillors left the Meerut Municipal Corporation House as soon as other members started singing Vande Mataram, following which a proposal to terminate their membership was passed.

The proposal put forth by mayor Harikant Ahluwalia of the BJP made it clear that any members opposing Vande Mataram will not be welcome in the House.

The Muslim members, however, said they will continue to boycott Vande Mataram “as the Sharia law does not allow them to sing it and that they will move court over the issue if necessary”.

“The seven Muslim councillors of the House had walked out on Tuesday when other members started singing the national song. They returned after some time, but I refused to let them in,” Ahluwalia said.

The proposal to terminate their membership was passed at a meeting of the municipal board on Wednesday, the mayor said.

He said it was a serious issue and all members, barring Muslim councillors, were sincere about singing Vande Mataram.

“We will not allow members, who are against the singing of Vande Mataram, to sit in the House, when it assembles next. We will even go to jail, if required, over it,” he said.

Reacting to this, councillor Shaahid Abbasi said, “We are being looked at with suspicion even when we ready to lay down our lives for our country.”

Councillors Diwanji Sharif and Arshad Ulla said, “Our religion... the Sharia law does not accept Vande Mataram. We are ready to tender resignation but would not sing it.”

Terming the mayor’s proposal to terminate their membership as a “Tughlaqi diktat”, they said they would move court against it.