Panipat: An Imam from Bapauli village in Haryana was forced to chant ‘Vande Mataram’ by some right-wing extremists, and was allegedly expelled from the place after he refused to be coerced into saying the phrase.
In the video which is now doing rounds on social media, it is seen that the Muslim cleric is surrounded by some men, including a local TV channel reporter, and is constantly being asked to chant Vande Mataram. As he refuses to do so, the men keep nudging him to tell why would he not say it.
One of the men ask “Vande Mataram bolne se kya problem hai?” (what is the problem in saying Vande Mataram?). The man then goes on to say if you are living in India why would one not say ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ , to which the Imam politely refuses.
Upon being asked why would he not chant, he says he doesn’t believe in chanting slogans and there are other ‘Nazm’ (poems) in ‘Hindustan’ that Indians can use and not just one kind.
There has been no verification on the video so far and no updates on the men shown in the video so far.
This is not the first time that a Muslim has been targeted and his/her patriotism or loyalty to the country was questioned in such.a way. There have been many cases so far where people from the community were disrespected and mistreated for not chanting Vande Mataram or Jai Shri Ram, mostly at the behest of right-wing extremists or Hindutva activists.
In June this year, an elderly Muslim man was assaulted by at least three men in Ghaziabad, bordering Delhi, on June 5. He was forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Vande Mataram’, videos of which went viral. The duo who attacked accused Samad, was called a Pakistani spy and one of the attackers threatened him with a knife that was then used to cut his beard.
Samad claimed the attackers showed him a video of other Muslims being attacked and boasted they had killed Muslims before. A video of Samad recollecting the ordeal was released later. Earlier this month, a journalist in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar was forced by a mob to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ while reporting during a protest demanding the establishment of a uniform civil code in the country.
This story first appeared on siasat.com