In a rare case of cross-party solidarity, members of Maharashtra’s Legislative Assembly voted on Wednesday to suspend All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen member Waris Pathan until the end of the session after he refused to chant “Bharat Mata ki jai” in the assembly.
The motion moved by Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Ranjit Patil said that Pathan had “shown disrespect to Bharat mata in the name of freedom of expression” and was supported across party lines. Pathan, who represents Byculla in south central Mumbai, is one of only two members of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen in the house.
At his home in Bandra on Wednesday evening, Pathan vehemently defended himself to a long line of news channels. His thundering for Times Now’s News Hour was audible even from behind a closed door – even though the channel turned down his volume during broadcast.
“Patriotism is in my heart,” he said to one reporter after the next. “I love this country. I was born here, I live here and god willing, I will die and be buried in this soil. We don’t need to prove our patriotism and get certificates from the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh]. We are proud Indians, we are proud Indian Muslims.”
He repeated two phrases constantly. “I say this now and will say it again: Jai Hind, Hindustan Zindabad.”
Also in Pathan’s house and in queue for fewer interviews was Imtiaz Jaleel, MLA from Aurangabad and the only other AIMIM member in the house.
It was Jaleel’s speech criticising the governor’s inaugural address to the Assembly that triggered the ruckus. Jaleel called out the governor for seemingly prioritising memorials for dead political leaders over real issue the state was facing, such as farmer suicides and corruption.
“I said that the only person saying Bharat Mata ki jai was Vijay Mallya when he was leaving the country with his Rs 900 crore,” Jaleel said. “The same people who let him leave are the ones who are now making us say this.”
AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi had in a speech at a rally in Latur, criticised Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh head Mohan Bhagwat for calling on people to say “Bharat Mata ki jai” and had said that he would not himself say that phrase even at knife point.
Even this, Jaleel said, was well received by the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party. While the speaker had allotted him only three minutes to speak, other members encouraged him to continue beyond the time limit despite protests from the BJP. It was only when Jaleel said that he paid his taxes for the public good, not for building statues and memorials to leaders of other parties that Ram Kadam, a BJP MLA, got up and demanded that he chant “Bharat Mata ki jai”.
Pathan then rose to defend his party colleague, shouting without a microphone that nobody could force them to say this and that the Constitution did not require them to do so. (“I have a big voice, I can be heard even without a mic,” he explained later.)
At this, the entire house called for the two to chant this slogan. Pathan refused, but said that he would say “Jai Hind” and “Hindustan Zindabad” because he was a patriot. This furore engulfed the rest of the proceedings and resulted in Pathan’s suspension.
For More: http://scroll.in/article/805246/we-are-proud-indian-muslims-declares-mla-suspended-for-refusing-to-say-bharat-mata-ki-jai
Source: Islamic News Daily