All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen leader Asaduddin Owaisi has said he will not chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ in the wake of RSS sarsangchalak Mohan Bhagwat’s suggestion that youth need to be taught slogans hailing mother India.
“I won’t chant that slogan. So what are you going to do, Bhagwat sahib,” Owaisi said, at a public rally in Udgir tehsil of Latur district on 13 March.
“I won’t utter the slogan even if you put a knife to my throat,” Owaisi said. “It is not written in the Constitution that one should say Bharat Mata ki Jai,” he said.
On March 3, Bhagwat had said the youth need to be taught to chant slogans hailing mother India. He said this in the backdrop of the controversy over alleged anti-India sloganeering on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus.
“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,” said Bhagwat.
Owaisi, however, said he would continue to extend support to Ishrat Jehan’s family. Jehan was an alleged LeT operative who was killed in an encounter by the Gujarat police in 2004.