Retiring as Rajya Sabha member, noted film personality Javed Akhtar in his farewell speech, slammed AIMIM President and MP Asaddudin Owaisi for saying he will not chant ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ because the Constitution does not ask him to do so. 

Taking objection to Owaisi’s remark, Akhtar said, “the Constitution even does not ask him to wear sherwani (dress) and topi (cap)… I don’t care to know whether saying ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ is my duty or not, it is my right.” He then chanted ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ a number of times. 

Here’s the video of him taking on Owaisi in the Rajya Sabha:

Akhtar at the same time, condemned those right-wing extremists also, who say Muslims should go to Pakistan. He also said that these days “fringe” elements are rising and emphasised the need to protect securalism to save democracy and the Constitution. 

He went on to add that protecting secularism is not about protecting one community or the other. “We need to protect secularism because there cannot be democracy without it. I believe this is our greatest achievement.”

Before ending his speech, he pleaded to both the opposition as well as the government to work together without thinking about the next elections and concluded by saying that adjournments and polarisation will not take the country forward.

(With inputs from PTI)

(Feature Image Source: PTI/Twitter)