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Controversy over ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ slogan

These days lot of debate is happening in media about nationalism. AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi had earlier said that he won’t chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ even if people put knife on his throat. He added that nowhere in the constitution it has been mentioned that one should say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. Owaisi’s comments came in the backdrop of RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat suggestion that the new generation needs to be taught to chant slogans hailing mother India. A private complaint was filed in a Hyderabad court seeking direction to police to register a case against Owaisi for his refusal to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai.’ BJP accused Owaisi of speaking the language of terrorist Hafeez Saeed and said that he is indulging in this act for gaining cheap publicity. The party also criticized Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for supporting those people who are trying to divide the country on communal lines. Shiv Sena attacked Owaisi and said that people like him should be legally beheaded.

Sena also criticised Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for allowing Owaisi to move around freely and sneak out of Maharashtra despite making such statements. It said that Owaisi has insulted mother India. The party also added that all Muslims in the country should chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ to express their opposition to Owaisi’s ill-conceived views. It said that those who refuse to chant the slogan their citizenship and voting rights should be cancelled. On the other hand, a question which arises here is how can a person be legally beheaded and how can his voting rights be revoked? Thus political parties are not bothered about the problems faced by the common man and are instead trying to claim credit for such actions.

We have been chanting slogans like Bharat Mata Ki Jai, Jai hind, Mera Bharat Mahan, Ye Bharat desh hai mera right from our childhood days. Now it is distressing to note that leaders are trying to politicize this incident. Actually the term Bharat Mata means Bharat ki “mitti” or soil. Cultivable and fertile land is used for constructing concrete jungle. People are deprived of amenities like water, power, sanitation etc. Citizens of other countries don’t chant such slogans all the time and yet they have patriotic feelings for their nation.

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani has decided to rope in the Indian Army to teach patriotism in the universities controlled by the government. Earlier she had asked all central universities to hoist national flag on their campuses. Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) was selected as the first place to hoist the flag as it is the center point of a series of protests held recently following the arrest of JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar. Youth must be offered training so that they will become employable. They must be asked to work in factories, do social work in villages. Let them learn about practical aspects of life prior to becoming an IAS officer or MP. They must be asked to perform swimming, yoga, jogging for improving their health. Youth should also undergo some basic military training. Today situation has become so worse that everyone is demanding reservation in government jobs without doing anything. Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the “rich diversity” of Islam at a Sufi gathering against global terror. He also hit out at those who spread terror across the world in the guise of religion.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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