Veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher has backed noted lyricist Javed Akhtar’s passionate call for saying ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, saying that the slogan should be the only definition of nationalism for Indians.
“The only definition of NATIONALISM for Bharatwasis should be “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”. Rest all are escape routes.:),” Kher tweeted earlier today.
Akhtar had yesterday slammed All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi in the Rajya Sabha over his remark that he would not chant ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ because the Constitution does not ask him to do so.
“The Constitution even does not ask him to wear sherwani and topi (cap). I don’t care to know whether saying ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ is my duty or not, it is my right.” Akhar said after which he proceeded to chant ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ several times.
Condemning right-wing extremists also who say that ‘Muslims should go to Pakistan’, he added that these days “fringe” elements are rising and emphasised the need to protect secularism to save democracy and the Constitution.
Meanwhile, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed against Owaisi in Allahabad High Court over his speech in which he said that he will not chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.
“I don’t chant that slogan. What are you going to do Bhagwat sahab?” Owaisi said at a public rally in Latur.
“I won’t utter that (slogan) even if you put a knife on my throat. Nowhere has it been mentioned in the Constitution that one should say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’,” he added.
The RSS chief had earlier said the new generation needs to be taught to chant slogans hailing mother India.
“Now, the time has come when we have to tell the new generation to chant ‘ Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. It should be real, spontaneous and part of all-round development of the youth,” he said.
Bhagwat’s comments came against the backdrop of the row over alleged anti-India sloganeering in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus on February 9.