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Hindu not a religious concept; it's a cultural identity: Venkaiah

Hindu not a religious concept; its a cultural identity: Venkaiah

Hyderabad: Amid a raging debate on RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's remarks, Union Minister and senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday slammed attempts to create controversies whenever there is a reference to the word "Hindu".

"Hindu is a not a religious concept. 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 ? Then 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."

"India has given home to everybody, all the religions. Everybody has come here freely. This great culture, this nation has capacity to assimilate everybody." "This is the deep-rooted culture of this country. And now some people try to make controversies out of nothing. And some people the very moment you talk of the word Hindu, they say (question) what is this Hindu?" Naidu said.

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