April 3: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said at a rally in Nashik yesterday that those who are unwilling to say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ have no right to stay in the country.
His remarks came a day after India’s largest Islamic seminary ‘Darul Uloom Deoband’ issued a ‘fatwa’ saying Muslims should not say “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.
Speaking at a BJP workers’ rally in Nashik, the Chief Minister said, “Does anyone have the courage in this country to not say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’? We have to say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ in this country. Whoever doesn’t say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ does not have the right to stay in this country.”
In a statement released on Friday, the seminary said, “We received thousands of queries on the issue so Darul Uloom Deoband has issued a fatwa saying ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ is not in consonance with Islam and we will not say it. But we love our country immensely and we can raise slogans like ‘Hindustan Zindabad’ and ‘Madre Vatan (motherland)’.”
Last month, Mohan Bhagwat, the chief of the BJP’s ideological mentor – the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or the RSS, had said the youth should be taught to chant slogans in support of the country.
Referring to the controversy over anti-India slogans raised at an event at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, Mr Bhagwat had said: “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 the all-round development of youth.”
After his remarks, Asaduddin Owaisi, a three-time parliamentarian from Hyderabad, controversially declared that he will not chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai “even if you put a knife to my throat.”
He added that “nowhere in the Constitution does it say that one should say Bharat Mata ki Jai.”