BJP on Friday accused Darul Uloom of “communalising” nationalism after the Islamic seminary asked Muslims to refrain from raising ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ slogan while its ally Shiv Sena termed it as a “new terrorism”.
BJP said moderate and liberal Muslims take pride in raising nationalist slogans like this but hardliners with medieval beliefs raise such issues for their own sectarian interests. “There is a clear attempt by some sections to communalise nationalism. There is a large section of moderate Muslims, including likes of Javed Akhtar and A R Rahman, and liberal Muslims who take pride in raising nationalist slogans.
“There are hardliners with medieval beliefs who are raising such issues for their own sectarians interests,” party spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said. Taking a tough stand, Sena leader and MP Sanjay Raut said not chanting ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ is not freedom of expression but a new terrorism and the government should nip it in the bud. “If you are not hailing the motherland, then whom are they going to hail? They should tell us. The central government should act tough. Such things are never allowed in any other country. Not to chant ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ is not freedom of expression but a new terrorism,” he said.
Attacking the Deoband-based seminary, Rao said it had earlier issued fatwa against photography, claiming it is unIslamic. “People reject such medieval ideas,” he said. Another BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said raising of the slogan is not worship, as contended by the seminary, but a show of patriotism.
“In patriotic passion, people raise such slogans. It is not worship but an expression of love for the country. Crores of Muslims do it. It was raised during the freedom struggle as well,” he said, adding there could be difference in the language of various nationalist slogans but not in sentiments.