- Ramdev says beheading apt for nay-sayers, but hands tied by law
- 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' is not a religious slogan, says Ramdev
- Congress leader Subhash Batra has filed a police complaint against him
Subhash Batra, a former minister, has filed a police complaint and said if a first information report is not filed, he will move court.
"We respect this country's law and Constitution, otherwise if anybody disrespects Bharat Mata, we have the capability of beheading not one but thousands and lakhs," the yoga guru had said at a Sadhbhavna Sammelan or meeting for harmony organised by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP, in Haryana's Rohtak.
On stage with him was Acharya Devrat, Governor of Himachal Pradesh.
Haryana's Health Minister Anil Vij of the BJP defended Baba Ramdev today, saying, "People who live and eat in this country must say Bharat Mata Ki Jai."
The opposition has been attacking the government and its supporters for trying to define what equals patriotism.
"Baba Ramdev's threat to "cut heads off " at #RSS meet is a call to violent action & public intimidation. Mr Modi, await your action. Now!" tweeted Sanjay Jha of the Congress.
Baba Ramdev said chanting "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" was an affirmation of faith in the motherland and had nothing to do with religious beliefs.
His comments came a day after the country's largest Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband issued a 'fatwa' saying, "'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' is not in consonance with Islam and we will not say it. But we love our country immensely and we can raise slogans like 'Hindustan Zindabad' and 'Madre Vatan (motherland)'." Some Muslim leaders - like politician Asaduddin Owaisi - have said that "Bharat Mata" violates the Islamic tenet against idol worship.
The controversy escalated over the weekend partly due to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis stating, "Those who can't praise Bharat Mata don't have the right to live in this country."