New Delhi, Feb 1 (Calcutta Tube) In a categoric rejection of its ally Shiv Sena’s ‘Mumbai for Marathis’ stand, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari said Monday that identities based on language, region or religion should not dilute ‘Indianness’.
‘All citizens of India may be attached to a particular language, region or religion. These identities have never diluted their Indianness. The Bharatiya Janata Party will never accept the philosophy that there is a conflict between the two,’ Gadkari said in a statement here.
He said the BJP had always recognised linguistic, regional and religious identities as a reality, but the ‘strength of India’s unity in diversity is achieved when all these identities eventually converge into a larger national identity of Indianness. There is and can never be a conflict between these.’
Gadkari said it had been a consistent stand of the BJP and earlier the Bharatiya Jana Sangh that ‘constitutional guarantee under Article 19(1) (e) that all Indians shall have ‘the right to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India’ aids and enables national unity and integration.’
Recalling his party’s opposition to Article 370, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Gadkari said the BJP had always viewed it as an impediment to national unity.
Gadkari’s remarks come close on the heels of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat’s call against linguistic discrimination.
Speaking in Guwahati Saturday, Bhagwat said there could be grievances about job losses due to migration but it was wrong to tell people from outside not to come.
‘Language, caste, sub-caste, groups, tribes can be different but all are sons of India,’ Bhagwat said and called upon political parties to eschew vote-bank politics.
RSS leader Ram Madhav had backed Bhagwat’s remarks a day later by asserting that the Sangh had asked its volunteers in Maharashtra to try and prevent the spread of anti-north India and anti-Hindi feelings.