Panaji, August 11: The Congress in Goa Monday asked the assembly speaker to expunge a reference to India as a “Hindu nation” made by a minister last month during the monsoon session. State Congress chief John Fernandes told reporters that he has instructed the legislature party to agitate, if necessary, to get the speaker to expunge the “anti-constitutional” comments.
“Executive committee of the Pradesh Congress Committee met and passed a resolution condemning the word ‘Hindu nation’ being put on record of the assembly. We requested Congress MLAs and the legislature party to get the remark in the house expunged, even through agitation,” he said. Last month, Co-operatives Minister Deepak Dhavalikar told the assembly that India could well be on the way of becoming a “Hindu nation”, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the helm.
The next day, the Opposition demanded an apology from the minister and staged a walkout, but did not insist on the remark being expunged from the assembly proceedings. A day later, Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza also courted controversy by saying that India was “already” a Hindu nation and he was a “Christian-Hindu”.
“Referring to India as a Hindu nation is unconstitutional and such an unconstitutional reference should not be allowed to remain in the assembly’s records,” Fernandes said. Fernandes’ comment came after Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat referred to all Indians as descendants of “Hindu culture”.