Venkaiah: If not your mother, who’d you salute, Afzal Guru? | India News

NEW DELHI: Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, while releasing a book on late VHP chief Ashok Singhal on Thursday, wondered why some had a problem in chanting ‘Vande Mataram’. “If not your mother, who would you salute, Afzal Guru,” Naidu asked.

‘Vande Mataram’ means salute to the motherland.

“Vande Mataram mane maa tujhe salam. Kya samasya hai? Agar maa ko salam nahi karenge to kya Afzal Guru ko salam karenge? (Vande Mataram means salute to mother. What is the problem with it, if you don’t salute your mother, who would you salute, Afzal Guru),” the vice-president said.

He said when someone says ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ it is not only about some goddess in a photo. “It is about all 125 crore people living in this country irrespective of their caste, colour, creed and religion. They all are Indians,” Naidu said.

Mentioning the Supreme Court’s 1995 verdict on Hindutva which says it is not a religion but a way of life, he said, “Hinduism is not a narrow concept, it is a broader cultural connotation of India.” Hinduism is the culture and tradition of India which has been passed down generations, Naidu said.

Naidu attributed the non-violent nature of Indians to Hinduism saying, “Every Tom, Dick and Harry attacked India, ruled it, ruined and looted it, but India never attacked any country because of its culture.” Our culture teach us Vasudev Kutumbkam, that means the world is one family, he said.

Also present at the book launch was RSS general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi. He said Singhal worked hard to realise the dream of building Ram Temple in Ayodhya. “Now he might have gone but we should not forget his goal,” he said.

Speaking about Singhal, Naidu said he was one of the finest proponents of Hinduism and sacrificed 75 years of his life for the benefit of future generations. Despite being a student of science and engineering, he chose to spend time on banks of Ganga and reflected on religion, society and culture, he said.

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