NEW DELHI: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said Hinduism is not just a Religious concept but the “broader cultural identity” of the nation.
Living for others is part of our culture, Bharatiya culture…whatever you call it. According to me, Hinduism is not a religious concept but Core cultural identity of India,” Mr Venkaiah Naidu said at a prize-giving ceremony organised by Krishna Foundation, a charitable entity.
“Religion is a way of worship. When we talk of culture, it’s a way of living,” he said, adding that despite differences based on castes, creeds and regions, India is one. Hindu is a cultural identity,” the Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister said at an event here days after Bhagwat said India is a Hindu nation and Hindutva is its identity.
If Hindu is a religion, then why this (The) Hindu newspaper? If Hindu is a religion, then why Hindustan Times newspaper and why Hindi ‘akhbar’ Hindustan? And why Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT), then why Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, and why Hindustan Shipyard?
“I can give 125 examples like this. These are not the names given by (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi or Venkaiah Naidu or somebody. This has been there in our traditions. On August 15, what do you say ? ‘Jai Hind’; does it mean to say Hinduon ko Jai aur bakio ko nahi. Aisa hai kya”? Naidu said.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of year-long CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) 70th anniversary celebrations, he argued that when one talks of ‘Swadeshi’, it means to tap the knowledge which is available in India and then excel. “We are not opposed to getting anything from outside.”
The Vice President said, we have ‘inherited a great civilisation’ and we must preserve it by eradicating the social evils which persist in the country.
“In the 70 years of independence, the country has struggled with many evils — poverty, corruption, illiteracy, terrorism, religious fundamentalism, atrocities on weaker section, gender discrimination… These things really need to be taken care of. We must see to it… ” he said.
India was known as “vishwaguru” in the olden times, he said, which bore “men of calibre” and its mottos had been “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah” and “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”.
“These are our mottos. This is the identity of our nation,” Mr Naidu said.
Social evils, such as untouchability and gender discrimination, must be isolated and condemned and “society must be educated on those lines”, he added.
The first-ever Rashtra Sewa Awards, instituted by the Krishna Foundation, were given to P Parameswaran, a scholar and social philosopher, and Yusuffali, an industrialist and philanthropist.