Kolkata: Amid the raging debate over his prescription of raising the slogan of 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' to infuse patriotism, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday called for efforts to establish the salutation across the globe.
Addressing an event here, Bhagwat said "Bharat" (India) was not merely a geographical name, rather a qualitative term encompassing the country's oldest traditional values.
"Bharat is the only nation where the oldest traditions -- the Hindu traditions -- are still evident. All the other countries have changed, they moved either towards progress or moral degradation. But even in times where there is moral degradation, our oldest traditions are still being followed," he said.
"If 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' has to be established in the entire world, if Bharat has to be built as a prosperous, equitable and exploitation free nation, it is imperative for all to live that Bharat in us," said Bhagwat.
He also ridiculed Pakistan for forgoing Bharat as the name of the country.
"Vedas were created on the banks of rivers in Pakistan, our ancestors spread from there across the world, the grammar of Sanskrit was created there. But during Partition, they chose a different name for their country leaving Bharat for us -- because all the qualities they were opposed to are encompassed in the name Bharat," he said.
Bhagwat's prescription of chanting the slogan hailing mother India has created a furore in the political circle with All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi asserting he would not raise the slogan even if "a knife is put to my throat".
Owaisi's assertions attracted severe reprimand from the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena which called for "legally beheading him".
MIM legislator Waris Pathan was suspended from the Maharashtra assembly earlier in the month over his refusal to say 'Bharat Mata ki Jai'.