March 23, 2016

India: The Constitution does not require a citizen to "chant" anything - A Letter from Mukul Dube

Subject: to the editor
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2016 03:31:39 +0530
From: Mukul Dube

The recent political resolution of the BJP says, "Our Constitution describes India as Bharat also, refusal to chant victory to Bharat is
tantamount to disrespect to our Constitution...". This ignores the fact that the Constitution does not require a citizen to "chant" anything. It also imagines that India/Bharat is forever at war, which makes loss or victory relevant. The appropriate word is "zindabad", which those who dislike Urdu can change to "amar rahey".

It is plain sophistry to say that those who do not utter "Bharat mata ki jai" show disrespect to Bharat or India. "Bharat mata" is not the
same as Bharat, which is no more than a defined territory. My postman, an employee of the government, greets me as he should, with "Jai Hind". Will he be required to change his greeting to "Hind ammi ki fateh"?

Mukul Dube