Freedom Under Fire: Fadnavis Says Leave India if You Can’t Say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’; Temple Entry Rows Continue

A round-up of news, both bad and good, on the rights front from India.

Supporters gathered at Shani Shingnapur temple to support trust of temple on Tuesday. Credit: PTI

People gathered at the Shani Shingnapur temple to support the temple trust on Tuesday. Credit: PTI

Those who can’t say ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ should leave the country: Devendra Fadnavis

At a rally in Nashik yesterday, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that those who are unwilling to say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ have no right to stay in the country, NDTV reported. His remarks came a day after India’s largest Islamic seminary ‘Darul Uloom Deoband’ issued a ‘fatwa’ saying Muslims should not say ‘Bharat mata ki jai’.

Deoband seminary a ‘terror factory’: VHP leader

A day after Darul Uloom Deoband issued a fatwa stating that Muslims should refrain from saying ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, a senior VHP functionary asked that the seminary be banned, Indian Express reported. Terming it a “factory of terrorism”, VHP national joint general secretary Surendra Jain also demanded that a case of sedition be lodged against the clerics who issued the fatwa.

Dalits made to pray before locked temple

In what Dalit leaders said was “adding insult to injury”, officials took some members of the community to the Basaveshwara temple, Holenarsipur taluk, Karnataka on Saturday but made them offer prayers in front of its locked doors, The Hindu reported.

This was after several people including policemen and journalists were injured on Friday in violence by upper caste people who opposed the entry of Dalits into the temple at Sigaranahalli to participate in the Durga Parameshwari Jatra Mahotsava. The same temple closed after Dalits entered it in September 2015. It was reopened on March 25 after “purification” rituals.

Kerala man booked for ‘talking to girlfriend’ in park

According to a report in The Hindu, 24-year old film editor Prasad was booked under section 119a of the Kerala Police Act. The section is meant for ensuring a safe environment for women and can be invoked against those who make obscene gestures, etc. Prasad and his friend were sitting in a public park together when a couple of policemen came and asked them questions about the nature of their relationship and why they were there.

JNU ‘left-leaning’ teachers on Delhi Police ‘watch list’

According to university sources, the JNU administration has received a list of 21 “left-leaning” faculty from the police, asking that they be kept an eye on, The Hindu reported. The teachers’ association has called this act an attack on “ideological freedom”. The police, however, have denied sending any such list.

Stopped from entering Shani Shingnapur temple, Trupti Desai to file FIR against Maharashtra CM

Days after the Bombay High Court ruling that women cannot be kept out of places of worship, around 25 activists of Bhumata Ranragini Brigade led by Trupti Desai were stopped by villagers from entering the sanctum sanctorum of Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra, an India Today report states. Desai said she would file an FIR against chief minister Devendra Fadnavis if the state and police continued to disrespect the court’s order.

Lynching of cattle traders: NHRC issues notice to Jharkhand government

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Jharkhand government over allegations of targeted attacks on Muslim cattle traders, an Indian Express report says. The NHRC’s statement also said that the lynching of two cattle traders in the Latehar district (including a 12-year old boy) was not being handled in a “fair manner” by the state administration.


Do you know of any other incident we should highlight in this column? Write to me at [email protected].

  • ashok759

    More than the national flag, we need to wrap ourselves with the enlightened provisions of the Constitution.

  • NewHorizons

    Well, our past leaders involved in the freedom movement had the grace and composer of not asking the people who refused to fly the tricolour or accept the constitution as their law or the groups which run on the idealogies of Godses..to leave the country..Also the participation in the Independence movement itself was a voluntary cause rather than a forced one..Then why is Fadnavis is asking the people to leave the nation if they do not raise just one slogan..Who gave him this right..?Our Freedom fighters respected the sentiments of the anti….but BJP is playing with the sentiments of the people for the sake of their power, politics and ultimately supremacy and subjugation of the masses…