Opposition parties Monday slammed the BJP’s “insistence” on chanting “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, with the CPM calling it an “unfortunate replay” of Hitler’s tactics and the Congress claiming that nationalism was “not a reductionist binary” that could be tested by one slogan. They also accused the BJP of stoking the nationalism debate to hide its “failure” of delivering on poll promises. “…they have totally, miserably failed. So the only agenda left with them is to divert the attention of people,” said Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said: “To insist that nationalism means only the slogan (Bharat Mata Ki Jai) that they want people to raise is very clearly an unfortunate replay of how (Adolf) Hitler used nationalism for the rise of fascism in Germany.”
The Congress, in fact, took a stand at odds with the one taken by its MLAs in the Maharashtra Assembly over a lawmaker’s refusal to chant the slogan. Congress MLAs had supported a resolution in the Maharashtra Assembly to suspend AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan for not saying “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.
“Whether it is ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, it is ‘Jai Hind’, it is ‘Mera Bharat Mahan’, ‘Hindustan Zindabad’, ‘Vande Mataram’, they are all synonyms of the same emotion and so to try and divide this country on this litmus test, that those who say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ are nationals and those use the synonym are anti-nationals, is reducing nationalism to a very reductionist binary — something which is dangerous for this country,” said former Union minister Manish Tewari.
But he refused to talk about Maharashtra, saying it was for the AICC general secretary in-charge of the state to take up the matter with the state unit.
Meanwhile, the BJP said that “opposing, abusing and criticising” ‘Bharat Mata’ was treason. “It is not a certificate of nationalism to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. But opposing, abusing, criticising ‘Bharat Mata’, for sure, falls in the category of treason, this they should understand,” said MoS for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. WITH PTI INPUTS