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Posted at: Apr 4, 2016, 8:09 PM; last updated: Apr 4, 2016, 8:09 PM (IST)

BJP leader's trust makes 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' compulsory for admissions

Ahmedabad, April 4

A trust run by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Dilip Sanghani in Gujarat’s Amreli has made it mandatory for students seeking admission to its educational institutions to write 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' in their application forms.

Shree Patel Vidhyarthi Ashram Trust  — established by Sanghani's forefathers a century ago — operates two high schools, a primary school and a college in the region that have more than 1,500 students.

Sanghani justified the decision saying: "Time has come to rejuvenate the spirit of patriotism among students, especially after anti-India slogans were (allegedly) shouted on the Jawahralal Mehru University campus in Delhi. Opposing the chanting of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' is like opposing the country. We have to inculcate the values of patriotism among children”.

"We have decided that admission will be given to only those who write the slogan on admission form. Just as it is not compulsory to write it, it is also not mandatory for those who don't write it to enrol in our institutes. Those who want to take admission, must show their commitment towards the country," the former MLA from Amreli said.

The Congress has called the decision an attempt by the BJP to divert people's attention several important issues.

Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said: "People from BJP and RSS never took part in the freedom struggle. Yet they try to preach patriotism. As part of their national strategy, BJP leaders are raising this issue to cover up their failures,” he said.

Senior advocate Girish Patel said the move violated several fundamental rights including the right to education.

"Right to Education is a fundamental right and all the schools have to abide by the provisions of Right To Education Act. You cannot deny admission by enacting such rules. Further, freedom of speech also gives me the right not to speak. To compel someone to speak or write `Bharat Mata Ki Jai' is a violation of fundamental rights," Patel said. — PTI

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