New Delhi: The ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ slogan had become the centre of a controversy after AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi said that he will not chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai “even if you put a knife to my throat.”
Veteran historian Irfan Habib has said that the idea of ‘Bharat Mata’ is not even Indian, its concept is a foreign import.
According to reports published in The Hindu, the celebrated historian made the controversial statement while delivering a lecture in the memory of late historian Bipan Chandra at JNU.
“Bharat Mata has nothing to do with India’s ancient or medieval past. It is a European import. Notions of motherland and fatherland were talked about in Europe,” said Prof Habib.
He goes into detail by saying that “Bharat is mentioned in ancient India. It was first used in an inscription of King Kharavela in Prakrit. But representation of the country in human form as a mother or father was unknown in ancient India or medieval India,” he said.
“This was an idea that emerged in Europe with the rise of nationalism, and it was found in Britain, Russia, etc.”
His statement comes even as the RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat abstain his Sangh Pariwar members that nobody should be “forced” to say the slogan.
Prof. Habib had annoyed many in the Sangh Parivar months ago too, when he reportedly compared RSS with ISIS.