“The only definition of nationalism for Bharatwasis (Indians) should be ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. Rest all are escape routes,” tweeted the actor. The comment came days after All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi said he will not chant “Bharat Mata ki Jai”.
“I don’t chant that slogan. What are you going to do, (Mohan) Bhagwat sahab,” the Lok Sabha MP from Hyderabad said, adding “I won’t utter that (slogan) even if you put a knife to my throat”. Owaisi spoke after Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat said the new generation needs to be taught to chant slogans hailing mother India.
Without naming Owaisi, well known lyricist and Rajya Sbha MP Javed Akhtar on Tuesday said: “He said he will not say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ as the constitution does not require him to say so. The constitution even does not ask him to wear sherwani (dress) and topi (cap)… I don’t care to know whether saying ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ is my duty or not, it is my right.” (IANS)