Deity Durga was the defence minister and goddess Laxmi, the finance minister, said India’s Vice-president Venkaiah Naidu while advocating the empowerment of women, on Friday. Naidu made the reference to the goddesses while addressing the Indian School of Business (ISB) leadership summit in Mohali.
Naidu also told students to be proud of their heritage. “Speak in any other language only when the other person does not know your mother tongue,” he said.
“Ram Rajya is still hailed as the greatest period of our history because of the ideal governance. But if one talks about it today, it too may be given a communal angle,” he said.
India’s VP has accepted that he was not always politically correct. “I am reminded by people near me that I should not speak from my heart now. I am the vice-president of the country. But if I do not speak from my heart, it will get enlarged and it is not good for my health,” he said.
Naidu noted that there was an argument on “growing intolerance” and freedom of speech. But, it was wrong to term society as growing more intolerant, he said.
“Some people expressed their views on Afzal Guru….in a democracy we have a right to express our views. But these views have to be within the constitutional framework. There have to be limitations on freedom of speech and expression,” he said.