Shashi Tharoor echoes Kerala CM's 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' remark: 'India's history more complicated than…'

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India’s history is much more complicated than black-and-white, said Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Thursday while jumping in the debate with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.  

Vijayan had said that the ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Jai Hind’ were first raised by two Muslims and challenged the Bharatiya Janata Party to renounce them.

The Thiruvananthapuram MP gave a little background on both the slogans and said that Indian history is more complex than the BJP or Hindutva movement would like people to believe. 

“The fact is that we used to be a country where such distinctions did not matter so much,” Tharoor said.

‘Jai Hind’

Tharoor said the slogan ‘Jai Hind’ comes from Netaji Bose’s aide– a Muslim Colonel – who was accompanying in the fatal plane crash. 

“Someone like Netaji Bose had amongst his closest aides people of every faith. He was accompanied by a Muslim Colonel in the fatal plane crash. That is the gentleman who had coined the phrase ‘Jai Hind’ for him,” he said.

‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’

The Congress MP said that the slogan ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ was given by the Muslim aide of a Hindu Peshwa. “That’s the way our country used to work,” he added.

“‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ goes back to the Muslim aide of a Hindu Peshwa. We were not always drawing distinctions on the basis of religion,” he added.

Arguing against reducing historical events to binary divisions based on religion, Tharoor urged for a more nuanced understanding of India’s rich and diverse heritage.

“When you think of something like the Battle of Haldighati, who was fighting for the Maharana? Hakim Khan Sur, a Muslim general. Who was fighting for the Mughal Emperor? It was a Rajput King,” he said.

“You have to understand that our history is much more complicated than the black-and-white versions that someone in the BJP or Hindutva movement would like you to believe,” Tharoor added.

Shashi Tharoor on CAA

On the Citizenship Amendment Act, Tharoor said it was an attempt to corner the Muslim vote, while emphasising that Muslims are educated and they would know what is going on.

“I think it is very clear that they are making a brazen attempt to try and corner the Muslim vote. Muslims are educated like everybody else. They will know what is going on,” he said.

The Centre on March 11 notified the rules for the CAA bringing the act into force.

Pinarayi Vijayan on the slogans

Earlier this week, Pinarayi Vijayan, the Chief Minister of Kerala, said that “Bharat mata ki Jai” and “Jai Hind” were originally coined by two Muslims. He also challenged the BJP to renounce them.

“Now, in some programmes we hear some Sangh Parivar leaders asking people to chant ‘Bharat mata ki Jai’. Who coined the slogan Bharat mata ki jai? Was it some Sangh Parivar leader? I don’t know if the Sangh Parivar knows this. His name is Azimullah Khan. I don’t know if they know that he is not a Sangh Parivar leader,” he said.

(With agency inputs)

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Published: 28 Mar 2024, 10:44 PM IST

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