Bihar legislator Akhtarul Iman uses ‘Bharat’ in oath
A Bihar legislator of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) led by Asaduddin Owaisi created a flutter on Monday by seeking a clarification on the use of the word Hindustan, instead of Bharat, in the Urdu version of the oath he was given to read out on the inaugural day of the assembly formed after recent elections.
At the oath-taking ceremony, Akhtarul Imam said it should ideally be Bharat in the Urdu translation of the script and sought a clarification from the chair. Pro-tem speaker Jitan Ram Manjhi immediately said it should be Bharat. “This has been the practice as well as the provision in the Constitution,” Manhji added.
Imam then read out the oath, using Bharat instead of Hindustan. He said the word in the old Urdu translation of the oath needed to be changed for conformity.
“I have no problem even if it is Hindustan, but the Constitution clearly says Bharat. We swear in the name of Bharat. Even in Maithili and other languages, it is Bharat. That is why I just pointed it out and sought clarity from the chair,” he added.
“I have also said ‘sare jahan se achcha, Hindustan hamaraa.’ But if there is an established practice and the Constitution says so, there should be conformity,” he said.
Imam also hit back at the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) for trying to make an issue out of it. “They don’t have any issue, so they keep talking about Kabristan (graveyard) and Pakistan whenever it comes to issues of the poor and minorities,” he said.
BJP spokesman Prem Ranjan Patel saidt Imam’s move was clearly aimed at creating an issue out of a non-issue. “What difference does it make if it was written Hindustan. Bharat is also known as Jambudweep, India and other names,” he added.
Congress MLA Shakeel Ahmad Khan presented a contrast to Imam when he read out the oath in Sanskrit. When asked about Imam, he said it was for the MLA to answer.
“For me, sare jehan se achcha, Hindustan hamara. That is why, I took oath in Sanskrit to send a message to both AIMIM as well as the BJP, that India a bouquet of different flowers. Sanskrit is the mother of all languages,” he said.
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