Vande Mataram – Justice Markandey Katju

I am against compelling anyone to chant Vande Mataram ( or Bharat Mata ki Jai ), or testing anyone’s patriotism by asking him to chant it ( of course if one wants to chant it voluntarily there can be no objection ).

Firstly, chanting such things proves nothing, and it is wholly irrelevant. One may chant it, and still do things which damage the nation ( e.g. polarise the people on caste or communal lines, as some political parties do ).

Secondly, some Muslims do not wish to chant it as they believe it unIslamic, as it literally means ‘ I worship the mother ‘ when Islam says that only Allah should be worshiped. That does not mean they do not love India.

Thirdly, and most importantly, this song is in Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya’s novel ‘ Anand Math ‘, which is blatantly communal, as explained in detail in my blog ‘ Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya ‘ on my blog Satyam Bruyat ( to see it one can also google ‘ Katju Bankim Chandra ‘ ). 

Bankim Chandra hated Muslims, calling them ‘ yavans ‘, and in the last chapter of the novel he shamelessly advises Hindus to regard the British rulers as their God given masters and serve them and collaborate with them ( I have quoted the passage in my blog ).

The song Vande Mataram must be seen in the context of that novel, and not divorced from it. Why should one sing a song which occurs in a novel which spread hatred for Muslims, and served the British policy of divide and rule ? There are other songs like ‘ Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai ‘ which do not occur in a communal context.

By Justice Markandey Katju
former Judge, Supreme Court of India   
Disclaimer: The views expressed by  the writer former Justice of Supreme Court  Markandey Katju and commenters below do not reflect the views and policies of the
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