A controversy erupted on the floor of the Bihar Assembly on Monday after an MLA from the Asaduddin Owaisi party, that recently won five seats in the Bihar election, insisted on replacing the word ‘Hindustan‘ with ‘Bharat‘ in his oath speech.
Akhtarul Iman during the oath-taking ceremony came up with the request, however, pro-tem Speaker, Jitan Ram Manjhi, who was visibly bewildered by the request, pointed out that as per convention, those who take oath in Urdu said “Hindustan”
Nevertheless, the chair allowed Iman to use the word, Bharat.
Once the oath ceremony was over, Iman was asked why did he press on using Bharat and not Hindustan to which Iman said:
“I had raised no objections. I had simply made a point that whenever we read the Preamble of the Constitution, in whichever language, it mentions the word, Bharat. In the light of this fact, I felt that since we are taking oath in the name of the Constitution, it would be proper if use the same term for the name of our country”. He asserted that he had “no problems with the word Hindustan”
Notably, Iman also choose to take the oath in Urdu language and quoted it as a personal choice just like it was of the Congress MLA Shakil Ahmed Khan who had once preferred to take oath in Sanskrit.
However, a section of the society and BJP claimed the Iman didn’t want to use the word Hindustan because it has the word ‘Hindu’ in it.
“Hindustan is a commonly used word but some people create unnecessary controversy in a bid to look different”, said former minister and JD(U) MLA Madan Sahni. BJP MLA Neeraj Singh Bablu appeared nonplussed and remarked “those who have a problem with uttering the word Hindustan must go to Pakistan.”