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PM Modi stings Manmohan Singh for ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday delivered a sharp rejoinder to ex-PM Manmohan Singh who had recently expressed concern at the slogan of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

It appears some people get offended by people raising the slogan ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, the prime minister told Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs on Tuesday.

 

PM Modi’s remark was seen as a reference to former prime minister Manmohan Singh recently red flagging what he called the misuse of the slogan hailing the motherland to construct a militant and purely emotional idea of India that excludes millions of residents and citizens.

Singh was speaking at a book launch on selections from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s speeches, essays and letters from pre- and post-Independence years in a book titled “Bharat Mata’’ by Professors Purushottam Agrawal and Radha Krishna.

Singh said a section of people who either do not have the patience to read history or would like to deliberately be guided by their prejudices, try their best to picture Nehru in a false light.

“I am happy that this book makes an effort to revisit Pandit Nehru. Nehru had led this country in its volatile, formative days when we adopted democratic way of life, accommodating divergent social and political views. Pandit Nehru who was very proud of Indian heritage, assimilated it, and harmonised them into the needs of a New Modern India,” Singh said.

“It is a book of particular relevance at a time when Nationalism and the slogan of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ are being misused to construct a militant and purely emotional idea of India that excludes millions of residents and citizens,” he added.

Singh said this collection of writings and speeches shows the mind and ideology born out of experience, observation and deep study behind this democratic and genuinely inclusive idea of India.

An understanding of Nehru’s political and intellectual journey is a pre-condition for India’s survival as a democratic polity as a humane, compassionate society, he had said.