The chief of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh said on Thursday that “there is a need to tell the young generation to chant Bharat Mata ki Jai”, breaking his silence on the issue of nationalism that has raged since the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader accused of heading an event in which many allegedly chanted slogans criticising the country.
“Now time has come when we have to tell the new generation to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. It should be sincere, spontaneous and part of all-round development of the youth,” Mohan Bhagwat said.
“It is extremely unfortunate that we have to teach them nationalism; it should come naturally. Now, there are people who ask you not to say ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’,” the RSS chief said.
Bhagwat’s view resonates with the right-wing theory that has been opposed by students, academicians and locals in places such as Kashmir where the Indian administration has been accused of human rights violation. The stress on patriotic rhetoric has also been criticised for throttling free speech.
Speaking at RSS headquarters during an award function, Bhagwat rued that the number of elements advocating to say ‘no’ to pro-India chant seems higher in an apparent reference to a section of “intellectuals” supporting the students shouting anti-national slogans.
Earlier, RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale alleged that the JNU row was a result of a ‘conspiracy’ and said that those who raised slogans in support of Pakistan and Afzal Guru are ‘traitors’ and should be charged with treason. Students participating in such sloganeering must be dealt with strictly, he said.
Similarly, Dr Manmohan Vaidya, the national prachar pramukh of the RSS, said the JNU incident is of grave concern and justified the Delhi Police action.