Amid a raging row over chanting 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai', RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat today said nobody needs to be forced to raise it and that efforts should be made to build a "great" India that is hailed across the globe voluntarily.
"We have to create such a great India where people themselves chant 'Bharat Mata ki Jai'...it need not be imposed," Bhagwat said.
Bhagwat's remark at a Bhartiya Kishan Sangh event came days after BJP patriarch L K Advani termed the controversy over the slogan "meaningless". Advani had said in Gandhinagar, "I don't want to comment on it. This is a meaningless controversy ('yeh ek vyarth vivad hai')".
The RSS chief meanwhile said,
We (India) have to show the way to the people of the world with our life and deeds. We do not want to win or defeat anyone. We don't want to impose our ideology and thoughts on anyone. We wish to show them the path because we accept them as our own. We have to show the path to the world through our deeds and create such an India that there is 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' across the world...We don't want to force anyone...it is not to be imposed.
Bhagwat was speaking after inaugurating the renovated building of the BKS. He said the Sangh was striving to raise more and more people who were committed to the cause of creating a great India.
Terming 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' (the world is one family) as the philosphy and core of Indian culture, he said, "We have to present an example before the entire world."
The RSS boss had stirred a controversy recently with his remark that the younger generation needed to be taught to hail "Mother India". In apparent retaliation, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi had said he would not chant 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' as he was not obliged to do it under the Constitution and that he would not do so even if a "knife is put to my throat".
The issue snowballed into a political slugfest with the Shiv Sena, BJP and other parties slamming the Hyderabad MP over his stand. Maharashtra Assembly suspended an AIMIM MLA after he refused to chant the slogan, while the Madhya Pradesh Assembly passed a censure motion condemning Owaisi.