Monday, November 12, 2007

Vande Matram - Its horse or a Cow!

Vande Matram - Its horse or a Cow!
Syed Ali Mujtaba

Is Vande Matram horse or a Cow? Well how can a song become an animal? It can! That’s the reason its an Indian patriotic song and not of any other country in the world.

What’s the logic in calling it a horse! Its simple the day Binkam Chander Chaterjee wrote this song in 1906 in protest of the Partition of Bengal in 1905, the Hindu right has been riding over it in the quest for power.

This song has served as the best mount for them in the entire tenure of the struggle for India’s freedom. It very well trapped the Muslims to spell out their loyalty, either to the nation or to the religion. Being a monotheist, the clean-hearted Muslims owe their allegiance to one and only Allah and to choose between the motherland and the Lord it was of sort religious crisis.

Those mounting the high horse of Vande Matram watched the fun, as Muslims fretted and fumed and refused to sing the song as it not only equated to their God but its few stanzas were derogatory to their religion.

And there you go! The horse did the trick that no tricksters wearing political hat could do. It separated the sheep from the goat!

Even though the horse had only regional and linguistic reach it was flogged to cover the imagination of the entire country. It acted as a double-edged sword. One blade clipped the wings of the colonial masters and made them run from the country; the other dwarfed the Muslims and pushed them on the path of separatism.

Did the horse died after galloping so relentlessly making a marathon run for the country’s freedom? No the horse did not die it only slipped into coma and of and on its pumped to be made alive, so that it could be made mount worthy again. That’s what the Sangh Privar is doing right now, flogging the fainted horse, hoping it will become their best mount again, and win them the throne of Hindustan.

Got it right! Now tell me how it is called cow. Why it is not a bull? The song all along has acted as a bully to the British and the Muslims, so why can’t it be called a bull. What’s the fixation for equating it to a cow!

Conceding the argument that the job of the bull is to bully, it would still be better to call it a cow. The primary attribute of a cow in the Indian context is to give. Indians utilize every single thing that’s part of the cow. And that’s not true of a bull. So Vande Matram is a cow and not to a bull!

Since the day this patriotic song has been penned a hundred years ago it has only been milked by all and sundry in this country. Politicians have milked it to grind their political axe, playwright and dramatist have milked it to hone their imaginative skills, singers, dancers, choreographers, you name it, and they all have it. In the name of patriotism, even scoundrels have milked this holy cow. Stupid can you milk a bull! That’s the reason it’s called a cow and not a bull.

So why the song Vande Matram is being made controversial as its centenary celebrations Why the Sangh Privar wants the entire nation to sing the song at 11 am on September 7 and any one defying their diktat would be made called a traitor.

The answer is simple; the political forces at the right to the center are now is in dire straits. “Ram Lalla,” its most lethal agenda in the post-independent India has become a spent force. With election in 2007 in India’s most populous state Uttar Pardesh that sends more than 40 Member of Parliament it desperately needs another agenda to steady their shaking ship.

Vande Matram fits into this scheme of thought. It’s a potent weapon of nationalism that can excite a large section of the people. First of all, it will physic the gullible Muslims who will raise the same old protest, and its reaction will unite a large section of Hindus, that will vote the vortices of Sangh Privar to power. That’s the reason Vande Matram is being played to the gallery, hoping that the dwindling fortunes of the Hindu right may get a new lease of life.

The ageing leadership of the Hindu right however doesn’t realize the trump card of 1906 can’t even be a joker in 2006. In the age of globalization, the market forces are determining the new equation. In order to harvest the economy of scale, shackles of nationalism are being broken and regionalism, globalization and partnership are become the key words in modern parlance. So Vande Matram doesn’t carry the same punch as before.

Then what does Vande Matram really means to the Indians? Well it is nothing more than music to the ears. Its befittingly was tuned by the musician A R Rahman who composed and sung it at the 50th year of India’s independence. Those who witnessed to the event could sense the mood of the audience; the majority had gone into trance the Sangh Privar were fuming in their hearts as secularist highjacked their agenda.

Now attempts are being made again to open up the stitched wounds ten years after that event, hoping that it will give them the safe returns. The truth is creating no more than a ripple effect. People know the matter has been settled. It’s not India’s national anthem but just a national song.

Muslims sensitivity has been taken care off after Vade Matram has been trimmed of its objectionable portion and made an optional song. So no Muslim has any objection to this song. It has all the freedom to sing or not to sing depending on his mood.

The Sangh Privar by forcing its agenda of making Vande Matram a mandatory song on all the citizens of it ruled state are making things more complicated. Can they make any law that would enforce Vande Matram singing? Can they keep vigil at who has sung the song and who not? So then what is the fuss all about.

Well currently Vande Matram is an innocuous prank of dumb witted people. If you are an Indian and if you have not sung Vade Matram at 11 AM on September 7, the horses, the bulls and the cows all will come to haunt you in your dreams! You can always get up and say ‘Jai Hind’ next day!

Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist, based in Chennai, India. He can be contacted at

No comments: