A Muslim teacher from Bihar’s Katihar district was beaten black and blue after he refused to sing Vande Mataram following the flag-hoisting ceremony on the Republic Day (January 26). The video of the incident wherein some locals can be seen thrashing the teacher, identified as Afzal Hussain, has gone viral.
District education officer Dinesh Chandra Dev, on being quizzed by about the incident said that he hadn’t received any complaint and if any such complaint comes to the light then they will investigate the matter.
Meanwhile, State Education Minister has found faults with the beaten teacher, saying that action will be taken against Hussain if the incident actually took place, asserting that insult to the national song is not “forgivable at all.”
On the incident, Hussain was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying that he refused to sing ‘Vande Mataram’ as the same is against his religious belief. “We believe in Allah and ‘Vande Mataram’ is against our belief,” he said.
Hussain further said that the term Vande Mataram meant Vandana of Bharat Mata, which is not what he believes in.
Violence over not chanting patriotic slogans and even not standing during Vande Mataram are being reported more frequently nowadays. there have been several incidents of violence even some leading to mob lynching incidents in various parts of the country. Earlier in the year, during the Independence Day celebrations, The Shia Waqf Board has issued an order making it mandatory for all institutions linked to it to unfurl the Tricolour on the occasion of Independence Day. Besides, it has asked everyone to chant ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ after unfurling the national flag.