New Delhi In a reply to All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi’s statement on directing the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and central universities to host rock bands singing patriotic songs on their campuses, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday said that people with extreme viewpoint and insecurities tend to oppose anything that comes up in terms of national interest.
During an interaction with ANI, BJP national spokesperson Nalin Kohli questioned the dispute.“I don’t know why there is a dispute. If we are celebrating 70 years of Independence, there are different ways of doing it. One of the suggested ways for the youth is that they go to music festivals… Can a rock band be done or something like that – is an idea,” he said.
“If Mr. Owaisi finds fault in all of these, then I don’t know what he is up to, because the only thing he heard of patriotism is Akbaruddin Owaisi’s ‘Arre O Bharat ke Police’ (Listen, Indian Police) and all that stuff he said, which are available on many media outlets. That is not the brand of patriotism we subscribe to; nor do we subscribe to ‘Afzal hum sharminda hain, tere katil zinda hain’ (We are sorry Afzal as your murderer is still alive) or something like ‘Bharat ke tukre tukre kar denge’ (will break India into pieces). So that is an extreme viewpoint. Those people tend to oppose anything that comes up in terms of national interest,” he said.
BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao further told ANI that it is because of the insecurities of various political parties that these kind of objections come up.
“Whenever we talk about national pride or respect for your motherland, various political parties become very insecure, be it the Congress, the communists. They all want to really attack the government because we want to celebrate the greatness of this nation, because we want to discuss the future of this country, we want the youths of this country to really become partners in this nation building to achieve a New India by 2020, when the nation completes 75 years of Independence,” he said.
Adding, “I think these political parties have become so insecure about their future that they believe their own political future will be on peril. I don’t know what they want to really indicate. Nowhere in the world would the opposition parties object to having a debate among students about the future of this country.”
“In our country, there is no law that one has to sing patriotic songs compulsorily, whether it is the national anthem or any other song. The Modi Government has not been able to provide employment; neither has it been able to fight against China. It has failed to stop the terrorists from invading our country. Now, this is a new form to divert attention from core issues,” Owaisi told ANI.
“Will people from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) come and perform at these shows?” he added.
The IITs were an autonomous body and such things were not going to help these institutes, he said.
According to the plan, formulated by information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani, the bands will visit the campuses and will perform patriotic songs, mostly from Bollywood and a private entertainment company has already recognised the rock bands that would visit the campuses.
Reportedly, human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar had agreed to the proposal from Irani, whose ministry is likely to carry the expenditure of the performance by the rock bands in about 80 Central government institutions over the next month under a programme dubbed ‘Yeh India Ka Time Hai’.