New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that “nationalism is our strength” and needs to be spread while the BJP stressed the ideology of “nationalism” guides its belief, and the constitution allows freedom of speech but does not permit “destruction of the nation”.
“Nationalism is our strength and it should be further spread,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh quoted Modi as saying in his concluding remarks at the two-day meet of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s national executive.
According to him, Modi also said that anti-nationalism would not be tolerated at any cost.
The political resolution, passed at the meet, said that ideology of nationalism guides the party’s belief and direction.
“Constitution of India allows complete freedom to dissent and disagreement but does not permit destruction of the nation. We completely support freedom of expression,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the resolution’s passage.
On “Bharat Mata ki Jai”, he said: “We believe this is one issue on which there should be no debate. People in India should have absolutely no difficulty as far as this slogan is concerned and the best example we saw yesterday (Saturday) at Eden Gardens (during India-Pakistan Twenty20 world cup match).”
The resolution said that “nationalism, national unity and integrity are an article of faith with the BJP” and accused a “very microscopic minority” of “indulging in a kind of demagogy that goes against the very essence of our constitution”.
“Talking of destruction of Bharat can’t be supported in the name of freedom of expression,” it said, warning the refusal to chant “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” in the name of freedom is also unacceptable.
“Our constitution describes India as Bharat also and refusal to chant victory to Bharat is tantamount to disrespect to our constitution itself. ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ is not merely a slogan. It was a mantra of inspiration to countless freedom fighters during the independence struggle.
“It is the heartbeat of a billion people today. It is reiteration of our constitutional obligation as citizens to uphold its primacy. The BJP wishes to make it clear that it will firmly oppose any attempt to disrespect Bharat and weaken its unity and integrity.”
BJP president Amit Shah, in his address on Saturday, said the party would not accept criticism of the nation in the name of freedom of speech and expression.