Don’t force anyone to chant Bharat Mata ki Jai, Bhagwat tells RSS cadre

  • Manish Chandra Pandey, Hindustan Times, Lucknow
  • Updated: Mar 28, 2016 15:41 IST
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat earlier expressed the wish to make the whole world chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. (File Photo/HT)

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday asked the organisation’s cadre to refrain from forcing people to chant the ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ slogan.

“Our conduct should be such that people must chant the slogan on their own. It has to come from within,” Bhagwat said while dedicating the historical Smriti Bhawan in Lucknow to the people. It was at this building that the BJP’s previous avatar, the Bharatiya Jan Sangh, was set up in 1951.

Read: Want the whole world to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’: RSS chief Bhagwat

He spoke on the concept of taking the ‘sarva samaj’ (entire society) along, and hinted that chanting nationalistic slogans should be a voluntary – not a mandatory – exercise. “Everyone is our own, and we have to take everyone along,” the RSS chief said.

This, however, seemed to be at odds with a statement Bhagwat made in Kolkata on Sunday, wherein he expressed the RSS’s desire to make the whole world chant the slogan. He had gone on to say that a separate country (referring to Pakistan) had been carved out for people who did not want to stand with the “qualities of Bharat”.

Read: India is more nationalistic than Bharat Mata

RSS leader Prabhu Narain confirmed the idea behind Bhagwat’s words. “The sarsanghchalakji made it clear that the slogan shouldn’t be forced on anyone. It should be a voluntary sentiment – something that comes from within. He wanted us to lead by example, through impeccable conduct and total dedication to the cause of the motherland,” he said.

Read: Not shouting a slogan is also part of freedom of expression: Owaisi

Bhagwat’s statement came on a day when All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi was also in the state capital. Owaisi had earlier said that he wouldn’t chant the slogan even if a knife was held to his throat.

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