Amid controversy surrounding chanting of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai', BJP MP and actor Paresh Rawal on Sunday said his party never coerced anyone to raise the slogan and it is "inappropriate" to compel people to do so.
Reacting to the fatwa issued by Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband asking Muslims to refrain from chanting the slogan, Rawal said, saying 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' is about expressing the feeling of patriotism.
He said people should follow lyricist Javed Akhtar, who retired as Rajya Sabha MP last month, on the issue.
"This is all about how much you love your motherland.
Those who want to issue fatwa can do so. Otherwise, people should follow Javed Akhtar, who said in the Parliament that 'it is my right to say Bharat Mata Ki Jai'," Rawal told reporters in Ahmedabad during a brief interaction.
"BJP never forced anyone to chant the slogan and it is also not appropriate to force someone to do so. It is all about expressing the feeling of patriotism," the Ahmedabad (East) MP said.
Commenting on China's role in blocking India's move in the UN to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief and Pathankot terror attack mastermind Masood Azhar, Rawal said the action was expected of the neighbouring country.
"Everyone knows that China and Pakistan are very close. Thus, it was very much expected from China. However, countries like the US, France, Russia and Britain are still with India in our fight against terrorism," he said.