Since BJP has come to power, the entire nation is shaken over unwanted issues. We know that every Indian is patriot and loves his/her country unconditionally. Making things obvious may not solve the very purpose of politics. Amid the raging debate over BJP’s prescription of raising the slogan of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ to infuse patriotism, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat called for efforts to establish the salutation across the globe.
However, BJP and RSS need to understand that slogans like ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, ‘Vande Mataram’ etc shouldn’t be a factor in deciding who is patriotic and who is anti-national. This country was formed by people who didn’t even have a common language and that is what made the nation so diverse and strong. Tomorrow if someone (read political parties) says that you display flag on your car or pin up in your dress and those who will not then they are considered as anti-national, will you comply that also? How many things we have to follow to show ourselves as patriotic? As a proud Indian, I refuse to say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ if someone forces me to do that and I respect those who don’t say it when forced them. I will say Bharat Mata ki Jai, because I respect my mother land but not out of any compulsion. So, at this moment BJP and RSS should stop their certificate distribution campaign. They are not India; they are part of it as we all are. They are not custodians or authority over India, they just have their government for 5 years.
This debate is stretching to all sort of arguments, an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ said that given the ‘nationalist’ sentiment in the country, Mehbooba Mufti should raise Bharat Mata Ki Jai slogan before assuming power as the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Referring to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statement that efforts should be made to establish the salutation of `Bharat Mata ki Jai` across the globe, party spokesperson Sanjay Raut added that the mission should start from Kashmir. Raut stressed that salutations like Jai Hind or Bharat Mata Ki Jai are symbols of our nationalism. We are aware that Mehbooba has been sympathetic to Afzal Guru and also maintains relationship with the separatists. Does Mehbooba Mufti believe in Bharat Mata ki Jai? Will she disassociate with Afzal Guru? If not, will the BJP form government with her? Will she raise slogans saying Afzal Guru was a terrorist? If not, then what is the compulsion for you (BJP) to form a government with her?
Earlier RSS chief Bhagwat said “Bharat” (India) was not merely a geographical name, rather a qualitative term encompassing the country’s oldest traditional values. Bharat is the only nation where the oldest traditions — the Hindu traditions — are still evident. All the other countries have changed, they moved either towards progress or moral degradation. Vedas were created on the banks of rivers, which are now in Pakistan. Our ancestors spread across the world from there. However, during partition, they chose a different name for their country leaving Bharat for us — because all the qualities they were opposed to are encompassed in the name Bharat. The same Bhagwat, once advised BJP government to be friendly with Pakistan and do not go harsh on them as they are our dearest neighbours. Why these double standards? Bhagwat’s prescription of chanting the slogan hailing mother India has created a furore in the political circle with All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi asserting he would not raise the slogan even if “a knife is put to his throat”.
Owaisi’s assertions attracted severe reprimand from the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena which called for “legally beheading him”. MIM legislator Waris Pathan was suspended from the Maharashtra assembly earlier this month over his refusal to say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.
As the debate over nationalism continues to rock the nation, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Simranjit Singh Mann issued statement that Sikhs don’t worship women in any form thus they can’t chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. Taking pot shots at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the SAD leader said the religious preachings of holy book Geeta shouldn’t be enforced onto people from other religions as it has been done in Haryana. Notably, SAD, BJP are in alliance in Punjab as well as at the Centre. Nationalism is now decided by whether one can say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ or not. People should have the right to choose what they believe is correct and still be tolerant of others’ ideas in a democracy. Our Constitution has given power to its people whether you want to say then say else refrain yourself from saying it, and this is true power of democracy. As Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said our country is not just ‘Hindi, Hindu and Hindustan’ and called for an India ‘more accepting of diversity’ which he said has been the tradition throughout history. If we understand that the Indian civilisation allows many religions, celebrates range of opinions and is today sustained by constitutional democracy which stands for certain values that all of us claim as our own. If this is the Indian legacy we can live in, then we can stand under that flag and celebrate. Moreover, let me clear here that in our constitution, it is not mentioned India as Nation, National or anti national. So, why we are dividing people on hired terms? What BJP and RSS are planning with this?
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