Mumbai: Asaduddin Owaisi, a three-time parliamentarian from Hyderabad, has controversially declared that he will not chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai "even if you put a knife to my throat."
- AIMIM lawmaker Asaduddin Owaisi hits out at RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat
- Won't say Bharat Mata Ki Jai even if you hold knife to my throat: Owaisi
- RSS chief, citing JNU row, had said youth must chant slogans for country
Mr Owaisi, a leader of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen or AIMIM, made the remarks as a riposte to Mohan Bhagwat, the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), who had said that the young people of India had to be taught to chant slogans in support of the country.
At a public rally in Maharashtra last evening, Mr Owaisi said: "Mohan Bhagwat I will not chant that slogan. What will you do? I won't say it 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."
On March 3, the RSS chief had referred to the controversy over anti-India slogans raised in JNU and 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."
The RSS is the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP. Over the weekend, its top leaders met in Rajasthan and discussed the need for "value-based and nationalistic education".