Defending the Centre’s stand on JNU row, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on June 16 said any kind of criticism against India would not be tolerated.
Addressing a gathering of alleged victims of CPI(M)’s post-poll violence in Thiruvananthapuram, he said the JNU row emerged as agitating students raised slogans supporting Afzal Guru, the kingpin of the Parliament attack case.
The minister’s reaction came in the wake of the recent visit of JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar to Kerala, who criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre’s stand on the issue.
“Let me tell you clearly what is the position of BJP in the JNU issue. In JNU campus, people raise slogans, Bharat ki barbadi tak, jang rahegi, jang rahegi (we will continue to fight till India is destroyed).
“The other slogan they raised was ‘Afzal Hum Sharminda Hai Tere Kaatil Zinda Hai’ (Afzal we are sorry that your murderers are still alive),” he said.
Asking the audience who was Afzal Guru, the Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology, said he was the kingpin of the Parliament attack case, who came from Pakistan.
“And that Afzal Guru, along with others, were convicted by the lower court, high court and the Supreme Court. Even the President had rejected his mercy plea. And now you are saying, Afzal Guru’s killers are alive and we are ashamed,” he said, adding that any kind of criticism against India would not be tolerated.
“You can criticise BJP, you can critise Prime Minister Narendra Modi and you can criticise other leaders. But criticism on India will not be tolerated. And we are very clear about it,” he said.
The minister also referred to the recent controversy regarding raising of slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’.
“Come on. what is this? After all in India, you will not say Bharat Mata ki Jai? There is no compulsion. But the respect for Bharat Mata comes from the heart. We are very clear about it,” he said.
He also mentioned about one havildar Abdul Hamid, who sacrified his life in the 1965 war with Pakistan and his last words were “Hindustan zindabad and Bharat Mata ki jai”.
“We proudly say there is no compulsion, but the respect for Bharat Mata comes from the heart and we will always say Bharat Mata ki jai… Bharat Mata ki jai… and Bharat Mata ki jai,” the minister added.