MANGALURU: BJP national president Amit Shah said it was wrong to divide the nation on the pretext of exercising ‘freedom of speech’. He said it was necessary for everyone to develop patriotism. He was addressing a gathering at the ‘Balidana Smarane’ programme, organised to mark the sacrifice of freedom fighters and the 70th Independence Day, at the Mangala auditorium in Mangalore University on Sunday.
He said, “Efforts are being made to weaken our nation by creating differences on the basis of religion. The word ‘nationality’ is not limited to one single religion or political party, but it should be cherished by all. Some people are trying to divide the nation on the pretext of exercising freedom of speech. Such efforts should be foiled at the earliest to strengthen our unity and integrity,” he said.
“People must inculcate the idealism of freedom fighters like Mahathma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh and Veer Savarkar among others. People must not follow the instructions of certain NGOs and institutions which are blindly misguiding the youth. Earlier, words like ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ were inspirational words for freedom fighters. But we are now living in a society where some people are hesitating to say these words,” he said.
State BJP president B S Yeddyurappa said no government had organised any programme to pay homage to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the country. “The Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre has organised the ‘Tiranga Yatra’ to pay homage to martyrs,” he said.
Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation D V Sadananda Gowda said though some youth from Bhatkal in Uttara Kannada district joined the terrorist group ISIS, the people in Dakshina Kannada never encouraged such elements. “By organising the Tiranga Yatra, we are emphasising the importance of patriotism,” he said.