The Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind resolution on reciting Vande Mataram has evoked mixed reaction from Muslim leaders today with one section voicing disapproval of raising a "dead issue" when the community has more serious matters to address and another noting that its singing or not could not be the criteria for defining patriotism.
"This (Vande Mataram) is a dead issue. I don't understand what compelled them to raise the issue. Why such things are raised when more and more serious issues are there," asked Yahya Bukhari of Jama Masjid United Forum.
He said no one is forcing the community members to sing the song. "Unnecessarily we are creating conflicts. I believe there is no substance in this demand. This is done just to attract media attention," Bukhari claimed.
"If the song is about salutation, there is nothing wrong," he said, adding Muslims love but do not worship their country and it is part of their faith.
S Q R Illyasi of All India Muslim Personal Law Board also toed the same line. "It is a well settled issue, the opinion of Muslims on this is known for a long time, since the time of our independence that Muslims love their country but do not worship it.
"But I do not understand the timing and reason behind raising this issue. It was not the occasion to raise this issue again," he said.
However, Manzoor Alam of Institute of Objective Studies said he does not think there is a controversy in supporting the resolution.
"Singing or not singing a song can in no terms be called a criteria to define patriotism. There is no contention that the song is un-Islamic," Alam said supporting the resolution.
"There is no question that Indian Muslims love their motherland, but the national song cannot be forced upon anyone. It is like forcing a majority's will on the minority," he said.
The Jamiat-Ulema-e Hind passed a resolution at its annual meeting in Deoband yesterday asking members of the community not to recite Vande Mataram and supported seminary Darul Uloom's edict, which opposes any prayer involving the song.