New Delhi, Apr 1: Striking a balance, Congress today said it favoured every Indian chant "Bharat Mata ki jai" with pride, but was equally against attempts to force someone to say it.
Reacting to the edict of prominent Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband asking Muslims to refrain from raising the chant, party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said one should often chant 'Bharat Mata ki jai' with pride. "I feel that opposing it for some reason, is wrong, childish," he said.
At the same time, he made it clear that Congress was equally against attempts to force someone to raise the chant. "I will forcefully express my right to raise the chant of 'Bharat mata ki jai'. Equally forcefully, I will resist attempts to punish someone for not raising the chant."
Darul Uloom issued the edict asking Muslims to refrain from raising the slogan as it is "akin to idol-worship" which is against the tenets of Islam. Speaking separately, Congress leader Rashid Alvi, said chanting 'Bharat mata ki jai' in Urdu and Persian meant saying "Madre vatan zindabad". "There is no harm at all to say Madre vatan zindabad.
Religions do not come in between," the former Congress spokesman said. Alvi said a Muslim touches his forehead five times a day with the dust of his motherland. "So if anyone wants to raise a slogan, the religion does not prevent." At the same time, he said no one has any right to put pressure on anybody to raise any kind of slogan.