NEW DELHI: Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband in Uttar Pradesh on Friday issued a fatwa against chanting of “Bharat Mata ki jai”, holding that the slogan goes “against the tenets of Islam”.
The fatwa was passed after a two-day long deliberation in Darul Ifta, an eight-member panel of Islamic scholars from across the country.
“‘Bharat Mata’, according to some Hindu sects, is a goddess and they worship her. For Muslims, worshiping a goddess would be un-Islamic. We love our country, but we do not worship it, Islam allows worshiping only one God,” the fatwa said.
It also maintained that forcing people to chant the slogan goes against the Constitution of India which allows its citizens to practice their own faiths.
The fatwa was issued reportedly after the seminary received several representations from Muslims about its views on chanting the slogan. The latest move also came close on the heels of an incident at a madrasa where a student was allegedly beaten up by some people after he refused to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.
The National Commission of Minorities refused to react on the fatwa and its chairman Naseem Ahmad remained mum on the issue. However, one of the members of the commission, Praveen Davar, talking in his personal capacity, said that no organisation, political or apolitical, should issue direction on any subject.
BJP condemned the fatwa, with Minister of State for Food Processing Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti saying that denying people to chant “Bharat Mata ki jai” slogan amounted to insulting the freedom fighters.
“It is showing the fundamentalist side of Islam. Denying ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ shows disrespect to martyrs of the country. They should understand that they aren’t living in Pakistan,” said Jyoti. The fatwa comes in the wake of a raging debate across the country over chanting of the slogan.
childish to oppose: Cong
Reacting to the fatwa, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said one should often chant ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ with pride. “I feel that opposing it for some reason, is wrong and childish,” he said.