Durga Was the Best Defence Minister and Laxmi the Finance Minister: V-P Venkaiah Naidu
New Delhi, Sept 22: According to the Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu, goddess Durga was the best defence minister and Laxmi was the most efficient finance minister in ancient India. The remarks were part of his keynote address delivered at the Indian School of Business (ISB) Leadership Summit in Mohali.
Naidu urged the students to draw inspiration from the period of Ram Rajya, when the society was ruled as per the “dharma”.
“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,” the Vice President is reported as saying.
Naidu, while conceding that his remarks bring to light his political and ideological roots, said becoming the Vice President could not prevent him from issuing “politically incorrect” statements.
The V-P claimed he has been suggested by his advisors to be more cautious in his speech. “They tell me I should not speak from my heart. But if I do not speak from my heart, I it will get enlarged and it is not good for my health,” Naidu told the gathering.
Commenting on the issue of intolerance, which his predecessor Dr Hamid Ansari had described as a “major threat to the idea of India”, Naidu said the matter is being blown out of proportion.
The VP appealed the students to reject the claim that India is turning intolerant, adding that the “DNA of our society cannot allow us to suppress divergent views and thoughts”.
Naidu, however, added that “necessary regulations” need to be imposed in order to protect the democratic setup.
“Some people expressed the views on Afzal Guru… Such views need to be compatible within the framework of our law,” he said, adding, “Certain restrictions on freedom of speech and expression is necessary.”
On secularism, Naidu said it would remain an integral part of Indian polity and society till doomsday. “Secularism will never be under threat. Not only because of our Constitution, but because it is in the DNA of our nation,” he added.