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'Would You Rather Salute Afzal Guru': Venkaiah Naidu Wades Into Vande Mataram Debate

"If not your mother, who would you salute? Afzal Guru?" Venkaiah Naidu said at an event to release a book on the late VHP chief Ashok Singhal.

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Updated:December 8, 2017, 9:05 AM IST
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'Would You Rather Salute Afzal Guru': Venkaiah Naidu Wades Into Vande Mataram Debate
File photo of Vice President Venakaiah Naidu. (PTI)
New Delhi: Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday hit out at those objecting to ‘Vande Mataram’ slogan, asking whether they would rather salute Afzal Guru who was convicted and hanged for involvement in the 2001 Parliament attack.

"If not your mother, who would you salute? Afzal Guru?" Naidu said at an event to release a book on the late VHP chief Ashok Singhal.

"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. Where is the problem with it? If you don't salute your mother, who would you salute? Afzal Guru?)," he asked.

He added that '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 on from various generations. There could be different ways of worship, but there is only one way of life, which is Hinduism, he added.

Naidu attributed India’s policy of non-aggression to Hinduism. “Every Tom, Dick and Harry attacked India, ruled it, ruined it and looted it. But India never attacked any country because of its culture."

Our culture teach us Vasudev Kutumbkam (world is a family), that means the world is one family, he said.

(With PTI inputs)
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