The main arguments put forth against mandatory singing of the song are-
- This is sheer injustice.
- Muslims (and Jews and Christians) think singing this song goes against their faith. One may or may not agree with another think. But (as long as that does not affect the his freedom or hurt him in any way) he should respect the other’s sentiments.
- Why is it so important to sing this particular song to prove your love for your countrymen? Even when the song is written by a person who supported the British Raj? Who did not want independence?
- Does singing this particular song ensure that one loves his countrymen?
- Nobody is going to gain from this conflict. We are only wasting our time by trying to force this song on Muslims. If the Muslims are forced to sing this, only their hearts and minds will turn sour. Love begets love. Hate does not create love. Force does not create love. The country will gain nothing by forcing Muslims to sing this song. In fact it will lose a lot. It will lose not only the Muslims, but all the people who respect others’ feelings, all those who believe in freedom and justice will be unhappy.
- This will only further divide our country. This will prove that the country is totalitarian that does not know to respect it’s own citizen.
This will sow seed of further violence and suppression.
But the question to be asked is more general. The question to be asked is ‘Why should anyone sing ‘vande mataram’?’
There is no doubt that one should love his countrymen. But why should love stop at the border?
What is India? It is but a set of people who happen to fall under the same goverment. India did not exist as today’s map even 60 years back. May not look like this in future.
Our countrymen are most imprtant to us because they are the ones who share the same goverment and same land. Because they are within our easiest reach to help and reach for help. Given that, there is no reason for sensitizing it any further.
Let us look at the issues at practical terms. Pretence is not good in any matter of life. Nor is emotion in place of reason. Blind loyalty to anything in this world is not good. Simply because nothing in this world is perfect. It is said that the country provides us food, drink and shelter. Which is, basically, a pretence. The country is nothing but a piece of land. A lifeless object. The boundaries are man-made. It is God who is providing us (Indians or non-Indians) food, drink and shelter. By claiming that the country provides us, we are being blasphemous. We are being ungrateful. Taking One’s credit and giving it to something else.
Blind loyalty to countrymen (was,) is (and will be) eqated to blind loyalty to the goverment. The rulers want to be sure that we shall follow whatever they say. Nationalism is a very good tool to ensure that. None but we shall be vulnerable and exploited. We shall die at frontiers fighting for the rich and powerful, without ever realizing it. In ancient Egypt king was held to be god. Simply because he did not want to be questioned. Same thing was seen at Rome, at a later time.
Remember Hitler‘s Germany. Love for country and pride of Aryan blood was a integral part of Hitler’s doctrine. The Jews were viewed as anti national. Propaganda inside the then Germany planted immense pride of being an Aryan into the hearts and minds of common German. This resulted in two things-
- The non-Aryans were feeling insecure.
- The other one was even more bad and dangerous. Non Germans were being viewed as lesser beings.
This form of nationalism teaches us to regard citizen of other countries as lesser human beings. At the end, it is this pride that will end our nation.
The politicians remember nationalism only when it helps them (nothing surprizing!). They forget it when they have to pay their share of responsiblity. By naming nationalism, bringing in some ‘bharat mata’ they want to cow us down. Stop us from questioning them.