The chant of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ perhaps since its inception has never been so mired in controversy.

First it was Asaduddin Owaisi who refused to hail ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. Then the most prominent face of his AIMIM, Waris Pathan, took a cue from him. But his refusal to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ on the floor of the Maharashtra assembly earned him the collective wrath of all legislators. Pathan was suspended, and yet he remained defiant!

Stirring the debate earlier in the day was a passionate speech by Rajya Sabha MP, Javed Akhtar. He says chanting Bharat Mata Ki Jai is not his duty, but his right!

The larger question is — what constitutes violation of the constitution, but more importantly, what defines ‘patriotism’?