It is absolutely not communal to chant ‘Vande Mataram’ but to target someone is?

NEW DELHI: The inaugural session of the new Lok Sabha is always marked by the swearing-in of its elected members. This year’s oath taking ceremony of new Lok Sabha representatives turned into a spectacle for its ‘slogan war’.

Slogans were raised even during the oath-taking ceremony in the 16th Lok Sabha. But the scale was much bigger this time

After the maiden session of the 17th Lok Sabha, oath-taking ceremony on the second day resounded with religious slogans in the House.

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Most newly elected Members of Parliament (MPs) from Bharatiya Janata Party raised slogans of “Bharat Mata ki jai“, “Vande Mataram” and “Jai Shri Ram” either at the start or the end of their oaths.

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And when All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi was called to take the oath, he was greeted with loud chants of Jai Shri Ram, Bharat Mata ki jai and Vande Mataram.

Amid the slogans raised by almost all members on the treasury benches, a smiling Owaisi waved at them and proceeded towards the Speaker’s podium to take oath.

Soon after going through the procedure, Owaisi responded to the slogans with ‘Jai Bhim’, ‘Nara-e-takbeer Allah Hu Akbar’ and ‘Jai Hind’.

It is absolutely not communal in chanting Vande Mataram but raising or using it only when Owaisi or Samajwadi Party (SP) MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq takes oath are communal in isolation. The pro-Hindutva side (BJP MP’s) targeting someone and taking that name, has a communal overtone, which was loud and clear.

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It wasn’t just Owaisi and Barq though, the most intense shouting was witnessed whenever any Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP took oath.

The sloganeering in Parliament is a tit for tat reaction to the treasury bench’s dominating chorus that concluded their oath with a religious chant instead of nationalist one like ‘Jai Hind.’

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