Taking a dig at ruling BJP over its stand on the JNU row, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor speaking at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Sunday, said nationalism is now decided by whether one can say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ or not.
He said people should have the right to choose what they believe is correct and still be tolerant of others’ ideas in a democracy.
Tharoor was speaking on ‘JNU and Nationalism’ outside the administrative hall of the varsity which has been the centre of protests ever since sedition charges were slapped on three students over an event held where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.
Here are the highlights of his speech:
- “Today nationalism is decided by whether or not one can say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.”
- “Our Constitution gives people the right not to say it just as it gives people the right to say it as well.”
- “India is not just Hindi, Hindu and Hindustan.”
- “We want an India with both Krishna and Kanhaiya Kumar.”
- “We want in India people from every corner of this vast land an equal stake in our future.”
- “The Indian civilisation allows many religions, celebrates range of opinions and is today sustained by constitutional democracy which stands for certain values that all of us claim as our own.”
- “You may have come here for education but you are also educating the nation.”
- “What is happening here has given the whole nation an education in the vital issues of dissent and democracy, sedition and of course of ‘azaadi’ (freedom).”
Tharoor’s nearly 40-minute long speech had historical anecdotes and personal experiences and he repeatedly quoted personalities like Jawaharlal Nehru and Everlyn Beatrice Hall to drive home the idea of tolerance and diversity and their importance in India.
Watch the full speech below:
Here’s how Twitter reacted to his speech:
Dear Shashi Tharoor chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai is Moral Values of Indian,Whats Wrong in it? infact Bharat Mata temple inaugurated by Gandhi— Anshul Saxena (@AskAnshul) March 21, 2016
Sunanda Killer & Sonia Slave Shashi Tharoor Lecture About Patriotism! India is not just Ma Beta & Damad!— Intolerant নীলসুনীল (@trunils) March 21, 2016
Shashi Tharoor shows his support to the Commies of JNU while back home his party his fighting tooth and nail with the Commies in Kerala— Anoop Chathoth (@anoopc) March 21, 2016
Excellent speech by Shashi Tharoor’s at freedom square JNU https://t.co/Mr2VgNzAc5— Preeti Rajeev Nair (@PreetiRnair) March 21, 2016
One Bharat Mata Temple inaugurated by Indira too, Shashi Tharoor must note of this.. https://t.co/rONvDkFakw— Anjali Roy (@iAnjaliRoy) March 21, 2016
Nice strategy of Shashi TharoorNow easier to play victim card when he is arrested for Sunanda Pushkar murder..— gluta peroxidase (@Gperoxidase) March 21, 2016
uncle give tips 2 these youngsters abt “How to get rid of your wife 4 lover” that vl b more usefulShashi Tharoor https://t.co/T93XtOxwav— Tigphant (@tigphant) March 21, 2016
What’s wrong in what “Shashi Tharoor” said ? Those who are commenting are not even 0.00001% more knowledgeable than him— McTowels (@Restlessler) March 21, 2016
(With inputs from PTI)