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15. COMMUNAL SLOGANS
CRIES OF Vande Mataram, Jai Bharat or Jai Hind frighten the Musalmans today. Are they shouts of Bharat Ki Jai (Victory of India) going to mean MUsalman ki Kshay (destruction for Musalmans)? It is a matter of shame that thing shave been brought to such a pass.
I am glad too that Shaheed Saheb suggested the revival of the slogan’Hindu Muslim Ki Jai’, for it was started during the palmy Khilafat days. I recall the memory of the old days when a Muslim fellow prisoner used to sing Iqbal’s sare jahanse achchha (Better than the entire world). I use to have it sung equally when I heard it sung with equal sweetness and force. The words of the poem are as sweet as the tune. And among us what can be sweeter than that religion never teaches mutual hatred?

ALLAH O AKBAR
I HOLD THAT IT (the cry of Allah-O-Akbar) is probably a cry than which a greater one has not been produced by the world. It is a soul-stirring religious cry which means, God only is great. There is nobility in the meaning. Does it become objectionable because it is Arabic? I admit that it has, in India, a questionable association. It often terrifies the Hindus because, sometimes, the Muslims in anger come out of the mosques with this cry on their lips to belabow the Hindus. I confess that the original had no such association. So far as I know, the cry has no such association in other part of the world. If, therefore, there is to be a lasting friendship between the two, the Hindus should have no hesitation in uttering the cry together with their Muslim friends. God is known by many names and has many attributes. Rama, Rahim, Krishna, Karim, are all names of the one God. Sat Shri Akal (God is True) is an equally potent cry. Should a single Muslim or Hindu hesitate to utter it? It means that God is and nothing else is. The Ramadhun has the same virtue.

Vande Mataram
I now come to Vande Mataram. That is no religious cry. It is a purely political cry. The Congress had to examine it. A reference was made Gurudev about it. And both Hindus and Muslim members of the Congress Working Committee had to come to the conclusion that its opening lines are free from any possible objection. I plead that it should be sung together by all on due occasion. It should never be a chant to insult or offend the Muslims. It is to be remembered that it is the cry that had fired political Bengal. Many Bengalis have given up their lives for political freedom with that cry on their lips. Though, therefore, I feel strongly about Vande Matram as an ode to mother India, I advice my League friends to refer the matter to the league High Command. I will be surprised if in view of the growing friendliness between the Hindus and the Muslim, the league High Command objects to the prescribed lines of the Vande Matram, the national song, and the national cry of Bengal which sustained her when the rest India was almost asleep and which is, so far as I am aware, acclaimed by both the Hindus and the Muslims of Bengal. No doubt, every act must be purely voluntary on the part of either partner. Nothing can be imposed in true friendship.