Bharat Mata Ki Jai has snowballed into a raging controversy after the AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi refused to chant the slogan as demanded by the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to prove his patriotism.
On Wednesday, in an extraordinary development, Maharashtra assembly suspended the AIMIM legislator Waris Pathan after it failed to make him chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai.
The Congress too jumped the bandwagon and supported the move to suspend Pathan. This decision by the Congress party has become hugely controversial particularly because Jawaharlal Nehru, in his book Discovery of India had extensively written about Bharat Mata Ki Jai.
In his Book, Nehru questioned people for reducing the meaning of Bharat Mata Ki Jai to nationalistic jingos.
This is what he wrote:
Sometimes as I reached a gathering, a great roar of welcome
would greet me:
Bharat Mata ki Jai– Victory to Mother India!
I would ask them unexpectedly what they meant by that cry, who was this Bharat Mata, Mother India, whose victory they wanted? My question would amuse them and surprise them, and then, not knowing exactly what to answer, they would look at each other and at me.
I persisted in my questioning. At last a vigorous Jat, wedded to the soil from immemorial generations, would say that it was the dharti, the good earth of India, that they meant.
What earth? Their particular village patch, or all the patches in the district or province, or in the whole of India? And so question and answer went on, till they would ask me impatiently to tell them all about it. I would endeavour to do so and explain that India was all this that they had thought, but it was much more.
The mountains and rivers of India, and the forests and the broad fields, which gave us food, were all dear to us, but what counted ultimately were the people of India, people like them and me, who were spread out all over
this vast land. Bharat Mata, Mother India, was essentially these millions of people, and victory to her meant victory to these people. You are parts of this Bharat Mata, I told them, you are in a manner yourselves Bharat Mata, and as this idea slowly soaked into their brains, their eyes would light up as if they had made a great discovery.