June 23, 2006

What about the sash?

Said I was sick of this subject, I know. But I just found something (here) that I had meant to take up a long time ago. This: ... establish a disconnect between the novel and the song.

Meaning, that if a novel is offensive to some people, they should not necessarily find a song written in that novel offensive.

Not so easy.

Take a few hypothetical questions.

Note: your answers to these may vary, may not appear consistent to yourself or others, may not even have any bearing on the song and novel referred to above. All of which is fine with me. (My answers are not consistent).

Just give the questions some thought, that's all.

1) Would Parsis be willing to sing a song from a book written by some Persian mullah from the time they were persecuted and driven out of that land, a book hostile to Parsis?

2) Would Jews pay homage to a passage from Hitler's Mein Kampf?

3) Would Hindus -- or at least those Hindus who were offended by the presence of the Babri Masjid -- chant lines from Babar's Babar-Nama?

4) Would Catholics in Northern Ireland willingly sing the Orange song The Sash My Father Wore? (See brief discussion about whether it is or is not sectarian here for example; there is plenty of other stuff on the Web about it).

5) Your hypothetical question here.


barbarindian said...

You ask some interesting questions.

Bankim Chandra was truly a Hitler type personality. Legend has it that the dude was pretty obstinate and rude, apart from being a total snob. Guess he didn't have access to fine technology like gas chambers.

Time has come to search for a new National Song. Of course it must not be written by a Hindu. As we are aware, Hindus hate the Babar Nama hence it must follow that Muslims would resent reciting any poem written by a Hindu. How about Iqbal's Sare Jahan Se..? Well, he calls India Hindustan. Not quite PC I suppose. The choice has now narrowed down to Sikh and Christians. Since there is a language issue involved here, the best choice is a Christian. I propose the Govt. of India immediately commission a Christian minority to write a brand new national song.

I vote for Dilip D'Souza.

Anonymous said...

My question is-

Suppose Vandemataram was not part of the book, then Muslims who are protesting against it would have no objections to it?

There are historical reasons as to why I am asking this...

Anonymous said...


My rhetoric question:

Read "Thoughts on Pakistan" and let me know if we should throw out Indian constitution?

Won't mind if your professional-secular position prevents you from answering this.

Anonymous said...

Do people actually have to sing this song ? I am almost certain a majority of the people debating this don't know the lines to the song. I don't think anyone needs to be forced to sing anything. However, I don't see why a fatwa needs to be issued. Isn't this something that could've been sorted out?

One of aspect of the debate that stood out for me is that fact that I really had no idea there was any other connotation to this song. I remember reading about it's relevance to the Freedom movement and I considered singing it a simple way of remembering the people who fought for our independence.

There's little we do today that would suggest we are thankful for what they did for us.

Anyway, to each his/her own.

The Tobacconist said...

Sorry, that previous comment was from me.