Rajkot: A day after India's largest Islamic seminary 'Darul Uloom Deoband' issued a "fatwa" saying Muslims should not say "Bharat Mata Ki Jai", Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani Saturday said everybody had the right to say the slogan for the sake of the motherland.
"Chanting 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' is a matter of emotion. Every human being has the right to chant for mother or for the motherland," she told reporters at the airport here before leaving for Dwarka.
Motherland is no less than one's mother, she said.
Darul Uloom Deoband yesterday stated that Muslims should refrain from saying "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" as it was against the tenets of Islam.
The controversy started after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's comment that everybody should say the slogan which was opposed by MIM leader and MP Asaduddin Owaisi.
Irani was welcomed here by Rajkot mayor Jaiman Upadhyay and deputy mayor Darsheeta Shah.
The Union Minister said she hoped that BJP's performance in Gujarat will improve under the leadership of its new state chief, Vijay Rupani.