Does BJP only claims to be patriotic by giving the slogan BHARAT MATA KI JAY

Indian constitution in the Article 19(1) (a) had stated that all citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression which includes the freedom of non-expression also; so if the forced chanting goes against the will of the people it will also go against the spirit of the Constitution.

The debates of patriotism and nationalism are long discussions in Indian politics for a long time, and BJP has been long accused by several times by other political parties for enforcing patriotism like chanting of BHARAT MATA KI JAY; which is perceived as patriotism. Since, there are no proper assessing tools for measuring the level of patriotism, it varies people to people depending on several factors. Previously, the Madras High Court decision on compulsory singing of Vande Mataram to school, government and private offices cause displeasure among many communities. Many a times, narratives have been put in favour of enforced patriotism that by chanting BHARAT MATA KI JAY helps in promoting patriotism and is in extreme need of an hour in order to prove the patriotism towards the country.It is also stated that it brings the sense of collectiveness towards the country. There has been the case of MaharashtraLegislative Assembly, where MLA has been suspended for not chanting the ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’; two other people were also suspended regarding the same. The GujaratSchool has also registered to say ‘Jai Hind Jai Bharat’ during their address to attendance instead of the colonial ‘yes sir’. BJP General Secretary had once asserted that those who not chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ has no right to stay in India.Does this increase the patriotism among the masses or put the burden of enforced patriotism is still a matter of great debate. There were also several cases of punishment had surfaced recently for not standing in theatre hall during the National Anthem. In this connection, it is also can be taken in note that India is a land of diversities of different religions and ethnic groupsand linguistic groupsand not chanting slogan does not means one is less patriotic than the others. Indian constitution in the Article 19(1) (a) had stated that all citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression which includes the freedom of non-expression also. So if the chanting or asked for forced chanting goes against the will of the people it’s also go against the spirit of constitution.

Our constitution has also provides for a certain fundamental duties enshrined in part IV A of the Indian Constitution that needs to follow certain duty towards the country, fundamental duties are not enforceable by court of law. These includes to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem; to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom. Our constitution has provided us with certain rights that when violated can be appealed to the highest judicial body of country Supreme Court, this can also be the case of punishment for non-chanting of slogan against someone’s will which can be perceived as violation of fundamental rights of non-expression as mentioned above. One have rights to move against court for forcibly enforcing something against his/her will which have ultimately led to the violation of the fundamental rights. Our fundamental rights and duties enshrined in the constitution surely not coincide with any specific measures to count the ‘patriotism’ by chanting specific slogans or not.

Lastly, the most important things that we have to keep in mind that India is a land of diversity, apart from languages, religions, ethnicities one’s values, beliefs, cultural background is also necessary to understand their diverge expression of patriotism. The expression of patriotism surely varies from person to person in accordance with the above mention provisions. Thus, the slogan of patriotism should neither be forcefully enforceable nor use as a measure to calculate patriotism.

Ankita Chakraborty

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