By Imtiaz Jaleel
Aurangabad: My patriotism and love for the country is being questioned by some political parties and hence I feel it is important for me to clear my stand and my party AIMIM’s stand once and for all.
India is our country and we are proud to have not just been born here but also by choice we remained Indian since we boycotted the call when after independence our great grandfathers were asked to choose between India and Pakistan. We are thankful to them for opting India.
The debate raging on is about whether one should stand while the national anthem is being sung in a theatre. We strongly feel YES. There just cannot be a debate when it comes to country’s pride and honour. And we don’t think there should be any laws to instill that sense of nationalism and patriotism among the Indians. It has to be from within. Just like we don’t have laws to love and respect our parents and siblings so much so we dont need laws and rules and acts to enforce patriotism towards our country.
The incident in a Mumbai theatre where a family was told to leave the hall since they had not stood up when the national anthem was being played before the start of a movie needs to be condemned. But at the same who has given those so called partriots in the theatres the right to remove that family from the cinema hall by force. When laws are in place its the duty of the enforcing agencies to take action and not the people on the streets. Remember this is not a banana republic. At best they could have called the police and let the law take its own course.
National anthems in schools, colleges, offices, company is all too good but I strongly feel that one need not get a patriotism certificate from a cinema hall. And this is what I exactly opined. People may not agree to this but much as they have the right to disagree I have equal right to air my views.
What is disturbing in these disturbing times is the brazen super powers that these individuals and political parties are using at their own whims and fancy to silence the people who do not want to toe their line. And that is the most dangerous sign for our democracy.
I have been charged that I made some insulting remarks to the national anthem in of my TV debates. Let me reiterate that even in my wildest dream could I ever think of insulting our nation, our national anthem or our national tricolour. It is not my DNA. But yes, I did object to some nautanki kalakars who are invited to TV debate shows in prime time who come with orders every now and then telling us, we the Muslims, to go to Pakistan if we object to whatever they say or do.
Perhaps they are not aware that Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Constitution has given every Indian, I repeat every India, big or small, rich or poor, Hindu or Muslim, the right to speak his or her `Mann ki Baat.’
Some political parties have now made it a habit to target us by questioning our loyalties, patriotism and integrity towards the country. Let me reiterate that we may have difference of opinion, we may be following different religions and cultures, speaking different languages but in the end the beauty of this country is its unity in diversity. Come what may India still remains one.
India we respect you, we love you, we pride in you but as true Indians we will continue to oppose these lumpen elements who want the break the country with their cheap gimmicks, dirty politics and intolerance.