No to song, yes to patriotism | india | Hindustan Times
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No to song, yes to patriotism

india Updated: Aug 21, 2006 01:06 IST

UNITED DEMOCRATIC FRONT (UDF) leader and Jama Masjid Shahi Imam Maulana Syed Ahmad Bukhari on Sunday said Muslims were not ready to sing Vande Mataram as they worshipped  Allah alone and not the land.

But, he made it clear that the country was the ‘Mehboob’ (beloved) for the community which was ready to make any sacrifice for it. In an interaction with mediapersons here, he was commenting on the government’s directive to render Vande Mataram in schools on September 7. He lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Samajwadi Party and the Congress.

But, he said he had respect for Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati because she gave importance to people of her own community and organised them under one umbrella.

He said barring the Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the UDF was ready to enter into alliance with any other party. However, he added the time was still not ripe to make more comments on this issue.

Bukhari accused the Samajwadi Party of double standards and alleged that it had a pro BJP-RSS agenda. He also accused the party of making empty promises to Muslims.

He said Muslims had decided to float their own party after being exploited by nearly every political outfit in the country. “We are now in the field with the intention of not only contesting the elections, but with an aim to share power.”
He said the front invited not just the Muslims, but people from all walks of life to join it.

“We have been begging for the past nearly sixty years, but in the end we could get nothing. Hence, the desire to gain political power,” he added.
Rubbishing the argument that the BJP would gain strength in case the UDF came into the political field, he said, the BJP had won earlier also when the United Democratic Front did not exist.

He did not spare Muslim ministers who hesitated in doing the work of members of their own community. He, however, praised other ministers who showed no reservation in going ahead to do things for members of the minority community.
Earlier, the UDF’s first zonal public meeting held at Mansoor Ali Park in the city was presided over by Hazi Usuf Quereshi. He called upon the people to dislodge the Samajwadi Party Government.

Meanwhile, Bukhari reiterated the UDF resolve for a share in political power while addressing the public meeting.

Bukhari lamented that Muslims were getting a bad name because of terrorism.
He, however, refused to accept Osama bin Laden as a terrorist just because America had declared him an international terrorist. The Islamic court and the International Court of Justice were there to decide whether to declare Osama a terrorist or not, he said.