Mumbai: AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan who has been suspended from the Maharashtra Assembly for refusing to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ said Wednesday he did not disrespect the country.
“I am proud of having been born in this country and god willing will be buried in the very earth here. I have not disrespected my country. And I cannot think of doing so. Jai Hind. Jai Bharat. Jai Maharashtra,” Pathan told reporters shortly after he was suspended.
Echoing the stand of MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, he said the party will say ‘Jai Hind’ and that there should be no compulsion over chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.
Owaisi reacted to the suspension saying it would set a wrong precedent and that it was not good for democracy.
All India Majlis-e- Ittehad-ul Muslimeen chief Owaisi had recently dared RSS chief Mohan Bhagawat by saying that he “won’t chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ even if a knife was put to his throat.”
In the assembly, the incident started when a Shiv Sena MLA disruped the speech of another MIM MLA Imtiaz Jaleel by raising Owaisi’s statement.
To this Pathan replied, “We will say ‘Jai Hind’ but not Bharat Mata Ki Jai. There cannot be compulsion on saying ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. The Constitution does not say this”
Immediately after his remark, legislators from ruling BJP and Shiv Sena and other opposition parties including Congress and NCP made a demand for his suspension and unanimously passed a resolution on it.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Girish Bapat said, “Pathan was suspended from Assembly for showing disrespect to national heroes and refusal to say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai'”
Pathan won’t be able to attend House proceedings and won’t be allowed near Vidhan Bhawan premises till the end of the ongoing Budget session.
Among those who joined issue was actor Anupam Kher who tweeted, “The only definition of Nationalism for Bharatwasis should be “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”. Rest all are escape routes.:)