Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hindu saints dismayed at opposition to 'Vande Mataram'

8/24/2006 8:50:49 AM PTI

New DelhiSeveral Hindu saints have expressed dismay over a section of Muslims opposing to singing the Vande Mataram, India's national song.

Dayananda Saraswati, Swami Chidanand Saraswati and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and several other saints have also instructed all Hindu religious places and congregations to start singing the Vande Mataram, according to a press release issued by the Art of Living Foundation.

"Religious intolerance has to stop somewhere. Today, it's Vande Mataram, tomorrow it could be refusing to say 'Namaste' or seeking the removal of the saffron colour from the national flag. This will harm the composite culture and social fabric of India," the release quoted them as saying.

In the release, the saints also urged the Prime Minister not to ignore Hindu religious leaders and interact with them as he often does with ulemas.

They also called upon Muslim intellectuals to condemn the attempt to insult the national song in the name of religion.

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