Muslim ‘disowned’ for singing National Anthem


    Muslim ‘disowned’ for singing Vande Mataram
    Gulchaman Sherwani, a self-proclaimed lover of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s ‘Vande Mataram’, has said he has been facing “unprecedented problems” from certain groups within his community in Agra for his fondness for the national song.
    Sherwani said that his family is being persecuted and his children are not being given admission in Muslim-run schools due to his passion for the national song.
    Sherwani, 34, who lives in Azampura here, which is dominated by the minority community, wears clothes stitched in the three colours of the national flag. He told TOI that his children were removed from school after other people from his community objected to his singing ‘Vande Mataram’. Sherwani transports parts of shoes which his wife stitches to various shoe manufacturers.
    The school confirmed it had taken “action” against one of Sherwani’s children. Aslam Khan, who runs the school, said, “Sherwani’s daughter was enrolled here. But after the other parents objected, I was forced to remove her name from the rolls. Many people from the community have objected to the girl and her family wearing tricolor clothes. There have also been objections to her father singing the national song, despite there being a fatwa against it.”
    Mohammad Idrish Ali, president of AIMIM’s Agra unit, also confirmed that Sherwani had been disowned by the community as prescribed under the Shariah for reciting ‘Vande Mataram’.
    Sherwani said, “The shahi imam of Delhi Jama Masjid, Maulana Ahmed Bukhari, issued a fatwa against me and even called me a ‘kafir’ (unbeliever). But the fatwa has not deterred me from singing the song. Even my family disowned me when I was nine years old because of my love for the song. I have never met them since then.”
    Sherwani’s younger brother, Shakir Ali, said, “He never listens to anyone and does whatever he likes. Everyone in the family is annoyed with him.
    Sherwani had reportedly protested against a fatwa issued in 2006 by Sunni Ulema Board president Maulana Syed Shah Badruddin Qadri in Hyderabad against the singing of the national song in schools. He had then gone on fast under the Bharat Mata statue in front of the Agra civil court, calling the fatwa an anti-national act.