The first session of the newly elected parliament began yesterday. As is the custom, the newly elected MPs were administered the oath of office by the protem speaker. Many of the first time MPs took the oath of office in regional languages but most went for either Hindi or English as the chosen language for the oath-taking. However, there was once exception to this pattern. Samajwadi Party MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq took the oath of office in chaste Urdu.
#WATCH: Slogans of Vande Mataram raised in Lok Sabha after Samajwadi Party's MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq says, "Jahan tak Vande Mataram ka taaluq hai, it is against Islam we cannot follow it" after concluding his oath. pic.twitter.com/8Sugg8u8ah
— ANI (@ANI) June 18, 2019
However, Shafiqur Rahman taking the oath in Urdu was not the highlight, it was his rant against Vande Mataram in his concluding remark. Shafiqur Rahman, after taking the ceremonial, oath went on to state that he would not be uttering Vande Mataram since it is against his Islamic beliefs. It should be noted that chanting of Vande Mataram is neither compulsory in the house nor it is part of the established procedure. As such, the protest of Shafiqur Rahman was completely unprompted. The unprompted protest was completely driven by political motives and had nothing to do with his beliefs.
Initially, the House was completely taken aback by this flagrant politicization of the solemn ceremony which marks the beginning of the new parliamentary session, soon broke into chants of Vande Mataram. However, the silence was soon broken with the chorus of ‘shame, shame’. The chants of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and Vande Mataram followed soon. The chorus was led by the BJP MPs present in the house. Since the BJP enjoys a superior numerical advantage in Lok Sabha, soon the entire house was filled with the chants of Vande Mataram. The BJP MPs were in no mood to let go of this blatant politicization of the ceremony as well as an insult to Vande Mataram.
It should be noted that Shafiqur Rahman belongs to Samajwadi Party, a party which infamous for its Muslim appeasement and blatant Hinduphobia, the patriarch of which is accused of ordering the killing hundreds of Ram-devotees in Ayodhya. As such, this blatant politicisatin was not entirely out of character for Shafiqur Rahman. However, the BJP leaders showed that such attempts to undermine Vande Mataram would not be tolerated in the House and gave a fitting answer to the MP.