Won’t chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai, said All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi, mocking RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s recent suggestions that the new generation learn to ‘hail Mother India’.
Owaisi’s direct attack at Bhagwat came at a public rally in Latur on Sunday. “I won’t utter that (slogan) even if you hold a knife to my throat,” Owaisi said, amid loud applause by the crowd.
The dare continued. “I won’t chant that slogan. What are you going to do about it, (Mohan) Bhagwat sahab,” Owaisi said at the rally in Udgir tehsil.
“Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that one should chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’,” the AIMIM leader said.
On March 3, Bhagwat had said the new generation in the country should be taught to chant slogans hailing ‘Mother India’. He was referring to the row over alleged anti-India sloganeering on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus.
“Now, the time has come when we have to tell the new generation to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ (hail Mother India). It should be real, spontaneous and part of an all-round development of the youth,” the RSS chief had said.
Sneering at the RSS chief for his remarks, Owaisi said he would “continue to support” the family of Ishrat Jahan. Ishrat Jahan was an alleged LeT operative who was killed in an encounter by the Gujarat police in 2004.