BJP and Congress leaders have expressed divergent views on the Gujarat government's move to swap the traditional 'Yes Ma'am/Sir' with 'Jai Hind/Jai Bharat' when it comes to marking attendance in schools in the state.
Most vocal in the matter has been Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit who has accused the BJP of 'Dhongi Rashtravaad' (roughly - sham patriotism), alleging that the decision has a background in the BJP (and its forerunners) not participating in the freedom movement:
Dikshit said, "Attendance is a formality to determine whether one is present in class. When names are taken, they respond. There's no problem with 'Jai Hind' and 'Jai Bharat' but to keep imposing it shows that the government doesn't believe people are patriotic. And I think this Gujarat government itself is being run by a party that isn't patriotic. They never accepted the national flag and the national song. They were always apologetic to the British raj. This is dhongi rashtrabhakti."
His fellow Congress leader PL Punia took a more balanced view and said, "The notification that they have put, I think if India moves away from the English tradition, it's not a bad thing. But if it touts it as though some big work has been done, then that's unnecessary"
NCP's Majeed Memon was far less welcoming of the move:
"This is a kiddish thought. They're making a laughing stock of themselves. Your deshbhakti grows not with this, but with your work, behaviour, etc.", he said.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Dr Subramanian Swamy backed the move, opining thusly:
"Slowly slowly we should finish these things -- the influence of the British. English is an international language but our culture needn't be international. China also uses a lot of English but it doesn't allow it to enter its culture."
The notification has been issued by the Gujarat education ministry with the stated goal of instilling patriotism in students from a young age and comes into effect from Tuesday, i.e. Jan 1, 2019.