The recent chatter about Chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and the supposed patriotic bias conveyed through it set me thinking about this whole concept. Frankly before this entire debate started, I had never visualised Bharat Mata as a saffron clad Devi riding a tiger, despite being a practicing Hindu. While the concept of motherland is wrought in our very DNA, the idea of worshipping a Goddess of the same name is more of a political gimmick. It is unfortunate that certain ‘Political Pandas’ with vested interest decide to don the role of being guards of nationalistic sentiment in the country and are creating unnecessary furore on the issue.
Nationalism even at its peak during the British rule did not force anyone to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ to prove one’s loyalty to India. If you see our prominent freedom fighters, each one had a different way of addressing their Motherland from Vande Matram to Inquilaab Zindabaad, they all conveyed the same feeling, albeit expressed differently. Most importantly I fail to understand why it must be accorded so much of political importance. In a situation where the country is still on its way to get settled on the growth bandwagon, numerous basic amenities like education, sanitation and healthcare facilities still a distant dream for many, is it really justified to get on with the development agenda that it was voted to power on.
I think the focus needs to be on elements that can trigger the chants of Bharat Mata Ki Jai instead of forcing Indians to chant them. As Shri Bankim Chandra in his famous verses listed out the country’s economic, cultural and agricultural prosperity in the same breath as those magical words, Vande Mataram, my question to all those politically motivated Pundits is as they force us to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ can they also not make efforts to make the same motherland ‘Sujalan, Suphalan, Sashyashyamalan Mataram’.
Hail To Thee Motherland or Bharat Mata Ki Jai is not a political stance, it is more importantly one of the most candid expressions appreciating or hailing one’s motherland’s glory. For a secular country like ours who calls it or does not call it should not be anyone’s concern be it a Hindu, Christian, Muslim or whatever the religion of the Indian might be. The bigger question is can we utter those words given the state of current slow pace of reforms. The Govt is increasingly getting involved in issues that are not even remotely developmental. There is a urgent need for the Modi Govt to get its act in place and move ahead with the crucial elements which could trigger growth.