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People can’t be forced to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’: Delhi LG Najeeb Jung

Education minister Manish Sisodia said, “... We have issued showcause notices for the takeover of two branches of Maxfort. We are preparing to take over Maxfort Rohini and Pitampura...”

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: April 12, 2016 2:25:10 pm
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Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung Monday said people cannot be forced to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, and that he would ignore politicians who have reiterated that those not raising the contentious slogan had no place in India.

Jung also stated that JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar “speaks well” and was “persuasive”.

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In an interview to Karan Thapar on the India Today show ‘To The Point’ Monday, Jung said, “Worship of a deity, of a god is completely different from worshipping your country….You cannot force anyone to say anything these days.” He was asked if Indians have the right to refuse to say Bharat Mata Ki Jai.

Jung also added that not raising the slogan did not make somebody anti-national. “You can say ‘I don’t want to say it’. But that does not mean I am not nationalistic. That would not mean that I am anti-India.”

Responding to query about Kanhaiya Kumar being seen as an icon, Jung said, “I find it completely understandable because the young of India see some kind of hope in him because… he speaks well, he has a point of view and he is persuasive. And therefore, there are many in this country who have been deprived of what they believe they could have achieved. Kanhaiya, therefore, becomes their icon.”

Asked if he admired Kumar, Jung said, “I would give him time. He is a young man. I have seen many students in my life. I have seen many students wither away with time. So let’s give him time. I think the boy has to mature. I see him, at times, getting carried away with his persona. So, I think he needs to temper himself. He needs guidance and it would really depend on his mentors and how they would guide him.”

Responding to a question about how he would have handled the JNU row, Jung – a former vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia – said police was invited to a campus only in cases of acute arson. “Police is invited into campus only in cases of acute arson. Police is not invited inside campuses when there is sloganeering. I think the V-C was very new and he didn’t have time to settle in. Perhaps, if Mr Sopory had continued as vice-chancellor, there would have been an in-house dialogue. That is the tradition in JNU and we may have avoided the incident which carried on for a month.”

Constantly at loggerheads with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on a slew of issues, Jung said such issues were inevitable given the two offices. “His oath to the Constitution is different from mine. His oath is to abide by the Constitution while my oath is to protect and defend it. The oath to abide by the Constitution gives him the latitude to interpret the Constitution,” he said.

The Lt Governor also said that continuing the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme would put the police under strain. He also disapproved of the idea of making it a permanent feature in Delhi.

“Running odd-even ad infinitum would put a huge strain on the police as well as raise security problems,” he said.

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