Rejecting RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s suggestion for infusing patriotism, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi has said he will not chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ even if a knife is put to his throat, prompting Shiv Sena to tell him on Monday that he should go to Pakistan.
Mr. Owaisi’s assertion days after Mr. Bhagwat said the new generation needed to be taught to chant slogans hailing mother India drew sharp condemnation from the RSS, the BJP and the Shiv Sena, while he stood by his statement made at a public rally.
“I don’t chant that slogan. What are you going to do, Bhagwat sahab,” the Lok Sabha MP from Hyderabad said at the rally in Udgir tehsil of Latur district in Maharashtra on Sunday.
“Nowhere in the Constitution it says that one should say: ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’,” he said.
On March 3, Mr. Bhagwat had said the new generation needed to be taught to chant slogans hailing mother India, comments which came against the backdrop of 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 all-round development of the youth,” the RSS chief had said.
Asked by reporters to comment on the condemnation of his statement, Mr. Owaisi said he stood by it, asserting there was no violation of any law or Constitution in what he said.