Panaji, Aug 18 : Goa’s BJP legislator Michael Lobo Monday dismissed RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s assertion of India being a ‘Hindu Nation’, and claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not endorsed such comments. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the legislative assembly session, Lobo, who represents Calangute constituency, said: “I don’t think the Government of India, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, has consented to that.”
“Hindustan is a Hindu nation…Hindutva is the identity of our nation and it (Hinduism) can incorporate others (religions) in itself… The cultural identity of all Indians is Hindutva and the present inhabitants of the country are descendants of this great culture,” the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief said in an interview to a magazine in Orissa last week. Lobo, a Christian, dismissed Bhagwat’s comment as a “personal opinion”.
“The statement was made in his personal capacity,” Lobo said. He is one of the six Christian MLAs of the BJP, accounting for more than a quarter of the ruling party’s strength in the legislative assembly. Two weeks ago a similar controversy erupted in Goa after state Cooperatives Minister Deepak Dhavalikar told the legislative assembly that India could become a Hindu nation under Prime Minister Modi. A day later Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza said that India was already a ‘Hindu Nation’.