Hyderabad: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi said that he only objected to using the slogan “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” as a test of loyalty to the country, adding that the Constitution does not mention it. In an interview with dna, Owaisi also alleged that it was a message to Muslims to accept Hindutva. “I worship Allah, but my loyalty lies with India,” he said, adding that he was “not against Hindus, but Hindutva”.
Sangh Parivar and Hindutva groups were using the slogan as part of a larger project to subsume religious minorities into a larger Hindutva project.
Alleging that this was an insidious attempt at ‘ghar vapasi’, the Lok Sabha MP from Hyderabad who had dared RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat by saying he would not chant the slogan, told dna, in an exclusive interview, that his basic objection was using this (slogan) as a test of loyalty to the country.
“This is nothing but a design… asking (us) to do ghar vapasi,” he charged, adding “this is what the RSS talks about… it’s a message to Muslims, to accept Hindutva.”
The slogan finds no mention in the Constitution, and insisting on mouthing it was not in consonance with the freedom of expression and the right of minorities to the freedom of their religion and protection of culture, Owaisi noted.
It also imparted a sense of divinity to the country, which is against the monotheist tenets of Islam, which did not require its adherents to worship their country while staying loyal to it.
“wholehearted love to our common Mother and recognise her not only as Fatherland (Pitribhu) but even as a Holy land (punyabhu) and ye would be most welcome to the Hindu fold.”
“Yeh behas hi beimani hai (This is debate in itself is a betrayal),” he said, adding that waving the national flag and voicing such slogans were a “natural expressions of nationalism”.
In another development, Muslim seminary Jamia Nizamia in Hyderabad has issued a fatwa against chanting “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, saying the slogan was un-Islamic and irrational.