After a mayor in Uttar Pradesh ruled that singing of national song, 'Vande Mataram', before local body meetings was not necessary, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday asked if not the motherland, should they salute Afzal Guru.
Wondering as to why some people refuse to sing 'Vande Mataram', the Vice President said the slogan meant salute to the motherland.
"Vande Mataram mane maa tujhe salam. Kya samasya hai? Agar maa ko salam nahi karenge to kisko karenge, Afzal Guru ko karenge kya? (Vande Mataram means salute to mother. What is problem with it, if you don't salute your mother, who would you salute, Afzal Guru?)," he asked while releasing a book on late VHP leader Ashok Singhal in New Delhi.
Afzal Guru was convicted and hanged for his role in the attack on the Parliament in December 2001.
Naidu further emphasized that Hinduism was "our culture, our tradition" adding that some people were trying to give narrow meaning to it and attacking patriotism, nationalism.
"I want to tell people Bharat Mata ki Jai is not just about one photo, it is about all 130 crore people living in this country irrespective of their caste, colour, creed and religion. They all are Indians," Naidu said.
Kicking up a row, newly-elected Meerut mayor Sunita Verma, who was a Bahujan Samaj Party mayoral candidate, on Wednesday reversed an earlier order that had made singing of the national song mandatory before meetings of Meerut Municipal Corporation.
Verma, reportedly, said that as per the constitution of the municipal board, National Anthem 'Jan Gan Man' would be sung before the meetings.