Panaji: Hindu is a word used by "non-Indians referring to Indians, many times irrespective of religion" and in the Gulf countries even a Muslim from India is called a Hindu, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the Goa legislative assembly on Wednesday.
"It`s a word used by non-Indians referring to Indians, many times irrespective of religion... If you go to Gulf Countries even a Muslim (from India) is called Hindu by them," Parrikar said in an intervention during a discussion in the assembly on archives and archaeology even as Leader of Opposition Pratapsingh Rane contended that the word Hindu did not exist in the ancient Vedas.
"There is no word Hindu in the Vedas. There is no Hindu word. Maybe our deputy chief minister is thinking that there may be something," Rane said, singling out Deputy Chief Minister Francis D`Souza who on July 25 had sparked a national controversy by claiming that India was already a "Hindu nation".
Prior to it, Goa`s Minister for Co-operatives Deepak Dhavalikar had said July 24 that Prime Minister Narendra Modi could make India a Hindu Nation.