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Chanting 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' in public a matter of choice: Salman Khurshid

Former Law minister and Congress leader Salman Khurshid believes that invoking 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' in public is a matter of choice.

The former minister's remarks come against the backdrop of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's proposal that the new generation should be taught to hail mother India.

After addressing a conference on 'Freedom of Speech and Expression in Universities', Khurshid said, "It gives us pride when we sing national anthem, to see our flag, to say 'Vande Matram'... Some people don't want to do it, it's their choice."

The conference was attended by former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and former MP Girija Vyyas. Kumar said, "It is a paradoxical situation because we live in democracy and we see the rules of dictatorship being imposed. The difference between Congress and BJP is of dictatorial and democratic. We love dissent and they hate dissent."

Several speakers condemned the government's measures to overhaul the education system including the recently announced Choice Based Credit System and the Central Universities Act because it mandated all universities to follow a common syllabus.

Aditya Narayan, Vice Chairman AICC's Vichar Vibhag said, "When our universities will be deprived of how to frame a syllabus, how new ideas will emerge. Private universities have been left out of this ambit and they will be able to present new courses whereas our universities have been regimented to teach a particular course. This is the greatest attack on the university system."

He said self-governing and autonomous institutions like executive council and academic council have become "rubber stamps" to the commands of the Ministry of HRD and UGC.