Vice president Venkaiah Naidu, on Thursday, advocated the chanting of ‘Vande Mataram’, which means ode to the motherland.
He also said Hinduism is “our culture, our tradition”, which has been passed on from generations. Questioning the objections to the salutation ‘Vande Matarm’, the V-P said: “If not the mother, who will you salute? Afzal Guru?”
Guru was convicted and hanged for his role in the attack on Indian Parliament in December 2001.
“I want to tell people Bharat Mata ki Jai is not just about one 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 speaking at the release a book on former Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) chief late Ashok Singhal.
As head of the ultra right VHP, Singhal led the movement for the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
The V-P described the late VHP leader as one of the “finest proponents of Hinduism” who “sacrificed” 75 years of his life for the benefit of future generations.
Referring to Hinduism, Naidu cited the Supreme Court’s 1995 verdict, which said Hinduism is not a narrow concept but a broader cultural connotation of India. “Hinduism is our culture our tradition which has been passed on from various generations. There could be different ways of worship, but there is only one way of life that in Hinduism,” he said.
RSS general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi who was also present, said, Singhal worked hard to realise the dream of building Ram Temple, and his dream should not be forgotten.