Newly elected India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) legislator in Bihar, Akhtarul Iman on Monday insisted that the word ‘Hindustan’ in the draft of the oath in Urdu should be replaced with ‘Bharat’, as it is in the Constitution. This happened when Iman was being administered the oath of office by pro-tem Speaker Jitan Ram Manjhi. According to reports, Imam, who took oath in Urdu, sought the Speaker’s permission to replace ‘Hindustan’ with ‘Bharat.’ Visibly bewildered Manjhi tried to explain that those who take oath in Urdu use ‘Hindustan’. However, he permitted the newly elected MLA to use the word ‘Bharat’
When asked by journalists about his objection to ‘Hindustan’, Iman – who is also state president of Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM – said that he had simply made a point.
“I raised no objections. I simply tried to put my point that no matter in which language we read the Preamble of the Constitution, it mentions the word ‘Bharat’. Because of this fact, I felt that it would be more appropriate to use the same term while taking oath in the name of the constitution,” he said.
AIMIM legislator emphasised that he never had a problem with the word ‘Hindustan’ and said that he had grown up reciting “Saare jahaan se achcha, Hindustan hamara”, a famous poem by Allama Iqbal.
Iman also appreciated the ‘personal choice’ of Congress legislator Shakil Ahmed Khan from Kasba who took oath in Sanskrit on the first day of the inaugural session of the 17the Bihar Vidhan Sabha. He also dismissed suggestions that the move by the Congress leader will hurt the ‘Urdu speaking population.’
However, the ruling NDA said that some people create unnecessary controversy just to look different. “Hindustan is a very popular and commonly used word. But there are some parties who create such controversy to look different,” said JD(U) MLA and former minister Madan Sahni.