Amid a raging row over chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday said nobody needs to be forced to raise the slogan and that efforts should be made to build a ‘great’ India that is hailed across the globe voluntarily.
The RSS boss had stirred a controversy recently with his remark that the younger generation needed to be taught to hail “Mother India”.
In apparent retaliation, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi had said he would not chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ as he was not obliged to do it under the Constitution and that he would not do so even if a “knife is put to my throat”.
The issue snowballed into a political slugfest with the Shiv Sena, BJP and other parties slamming the Hyderabad MP over his stand. Maharashtra Assembly suspended an AIMIM MLA after he refused to chant the slogan, while the Madhya Pradesh Assembly passed a censure motion condemning Owaisi.
Playing down the controversies surrounding his suggestion, Bhagwat said, “We have to create such a great India where people themselves chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.
Bhagwat’s remark at a Bhartiya Kishan Sangh event came days after BJP patriarch L K Advani termed the controversy over the slogan “meaningless”.
The RSS chief said, “We (India) have to show the way to the people of the world with our life and deeds. We do not want to win or defeat anyone. We don’t want to impose our ideology and thoughts on anyone. We wish to show them the path because we accept them as our own.
“We have to show the path to the world through our deeds and create such an India that there is ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ across the world…We don’t want to force anyone…it is not to be imposed,” he said.