Senior Congress leader and Union Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid joined issue with Deoband clerics by criticising the fatwa (advisory by clerics) against the singing of Vande Mataram.
A gathering of about 10,000 Muslim clerics organised by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind in Deoband, Uttar Pradesh, had on Tuesday reaffirmed that members of the community could not sing the national song as it is un-Islamic.
“Some people were trying to create problems by raising the issue again,” Khurshid said here on Thursday. “Does this country not have enough problems? Why do some people want to create more problems? I don’t know why the issue is being reopened.”
Khurshid, who was inaugurating a national convention of company secretaries, said the issue of Muslims singing Vande Mataram was resolved more than 50 years ago.
He said community leaders had agreed that Muslims could sing two stanzas of the original song and the Jamiat leaders were party to the decision then.
There are two to three other stanzas that aren’t sung. Somebody has a problem with them is a hypothetical question because we have taken only two stanzas and this was done by our ancestors, freedom fighters and national leaders, including Muslim leaders, Khurshid said.
There was no need to take a fresh look after every 50 years, he added.
“People had faith in the song. It inspired people. It was not treated as a song of one particular religion. It was treated as part of India’s ethos and part of the Independence movement,” Khurshid said.