New Delhi: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi’s remarks that he would not chant 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' even if a knife is put to his throat, created an uproar across the country and he was heavily criticised by several political leaders.
Reacting to the same, Veteran actress Shabana Azmi said at the India Today Conclave 2016, “I would like to ask Owaisi sahab, would he be ok saying 'Bharat Ammi Ki Jai' instead of Bharat Mata, if he has got a problem with 'Mata' and not 'Bharat'."
Azmi was accompanied by her lyricist-writer husband Javed Akhtar.
When asked if he would contest election against Owaisi, Akhtar said, “If I contest elections against him in a place with Hindus and Muslims in a 50-50 proportion, I know I will get votes from everybody."
Taking objection to Owaisi’s remark, Akhtar had earlier said, “The Constitution even does not ask him to wear sherwani (dress) and topi (cap). I don’t care to know whether saying ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ is my duty or not, it is my right.”
Owaisi's statement has set off a chain of events amid charged debate over nationalism that included suspension of an AIMIM MLA by Maharashtra Assembly after he refused to chant the slogan.
Political parties across the spectrum, including the BJP, Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena have condemned Owaisi's stance. Madhya Pradesh Assembly has also unanimously adopted a censure motion, moved by a Congress member and backed by the ruling BJP, against Owaisi....