The row over ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ which sparked off with Asaduddin Owaisi’s refusal to raise the slogan has touched newer heights of absurdity. The latest to join the brigade was Baba Ramdev, who shocked the nation by saying he would behead anyone who refused to say the slogan, but for the law.
Now, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah has defended his outrageous and violent statements. Shah said that there was nothing wrong with what Ramdev said, raising questions on whether he had the right to freedom of expression or not. Coming out in support of Ramdev, Shah said, “I want to know from those who talk of free speech, does it not apply to Baba Ramdev.”
Shah said that Ramdev too had the like others to speak his mind. This comes after Ramdev, in an apparent reference to Muslims who are against chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai, said that he would have beheaded lakhs if there was no law in the country.
Earlier, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu has said that views expressed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Baba Ramdev do not reflect government’s position and added he doesn’t agree with it himself.
He said that it is not mandatory to chant the slogan.
Asked about the statements that came from Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, yoga guru Baba Ramdev, and Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh leader Bhaiyaji Joshi, Mr. Naidu said he is “not in agreement” with them.
“Has the government issued any circular?” he asked.
“In a democracy, people will say so many things. At the end, what the government decides is binding on all,” Mr. Naidu said at an interaction with the Indian Women Press Corps.
Two days ago, Mr. Fadnavis sparked a major controversy after he said those who do not chant the slogan should leave India, while Baba Ramdev added to the fuel saying he would have “beheaded lakhs” for the same, but for the law of the land.