BJP national President Amit Shah on Sunday said the spirit of nationalism and patriotism united the country and regretted that it had "become a fashion" to question one's nationalism in the guise of freedom of expression.Remembering sacrifices made by freedom fighters and martyrs for India's independence, Shah said: "The country can remain united only if there is spirit of nationalism and patriotism. If there was no nationalism or patriotism, there would have been no independence, if there was no independence, there would have been no Constitution."Speaking at an event to mark the 70th year of Independence here, about 350 km from Bengaluru, Shah said it had become a fashion to question one's nationalism in the guise of freedom of expression, and that a few people were campaigning even on social media and asking if nationalism was necessary or not."It has become a fashion nowadays for a few people in a few places to question nationalism. This is being done in different places and theories are being planted."Nationalism is being questioned in the name of freedom of expression," Shah said at the aTiranga Yatra' (Tricolour tour), organised by the party's state unit to celebrate 'Freedom 70-Remembering sacrifices' at Mangalore University campus.
Recalling how Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged for upholding the principles of nationalism and patriotism, the party chief urged the youth to read the history to realise how many people had sacrificed for the country's independence during the 90-year (1857-1947) freedom struggle."Bhagat Singh also fought for freedom of speech. There is no problem if you question a party or its ideology. But you cannot call it freedom of speech when you want to propagate anti-national ideologies," Shah pointed out.Noting that a handful of people were trying to separate the nation, Shah said the country could not be without nationalism."Freedom fighters are true inspiration to the youth, not these NGOs (non-government organisations," Shah asserted.The party is holding the historic event (Tiranga Yatra) across the country to pay tributes to the freedom fighters and inspire the youth to follow on their path for upholding values and principles for which they fought and sacrificed their life."This Yatra is not a ritual. This is to inspire our youth to live their life for the country. It is our responsibility to live for our nation," Shah reiterated.Shah also recalled that the 1857 rebellion, Mahatma Gandhi's peaceful struggle, Subhash Chandra Bose's Indian National Army and Veer Savarkar's writings were all part of the freedom struggle.Union Minister from state D.V. Sadananda Gowda, party's state unit president B.S. Yeddyurappa and party's lawmaker Nalin Kumar Kateel also spoke on the occasion.