Muslim teacher in Bihar thrashed for not saying ‘Vande Mataram’ on Republic Day

Updated on Feb 07, 2019 10:43 AM IST

A Muslim teacher in Bihar’s Katihar district was beaten up by locals after he refused to say ‘Vande Mataram’ following the flag-hoisting ceremony on Republic Day. The video of locals thrashing the primary school teacher, identified as Afzal Hussain, has gone viral.

The teacher, Afzal Hussain (pictured), said he did not say ‘Vande Mataram’ as the same is against his religious belief.(ANI/Twitter)
The teacher, Afzal Hussain (pictured), said he did not say ‘Vande Mataram’ as the same is against his religious belief.(ANI/Twitter)
New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

A Muslim teacher in Bihar’s Katihar district was beaten up by locals after he refused to say ‘Vande Mataram’ following the flag-hoisting ceremony on Republic Day on January 26.

The video of local residents thrashing the primary school teacher, identified as Afzal Hussain, has gone viral.

Hussain later said he did not say ‘Vande Mataram’ as the same is against his religious belief.

“We believe in Allah and Vande Mataram is against our belief. The term means vandana (praise in Hindi) of Bharat Mata which is not what we believe in,” he said, according to news agency ANI. “Nowhere in the Constitution is it written that saying Vande Mataram is necessary. I could have lost my life,” he said.

Bihar Education Minister KN Prasad Verma said, “action will be taken if incident of this sort has occurred. National song’s insult is not forgivable at all”.

District education officer Dinesh Chandra Dev told reporters he has not received any complaint regarding the incident. “Had we got any such information, an investigation would have been done. But till now we have not got any such complaint,” he said.

Vande Mataram, India’s national song, has sparked controversies in the past. Many Muslims say the song in Sanskrit is a hymn to the Hindu goddess Durga and it is against the tenets of Islam to sing it.

The song was written by the Bengali poet Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay in 1876.

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