NAGPUR: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday that "Indian culture and Hindu culture" is not "expansionist" and neighbouring countries would never feel threatened by India, but they would not feel the same way about China.
While Indian culture seeks welfare of the entire world, China's rise was underpinned by expansionism, the senior BJP leader said.
His remarks came amid the face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh.
"Indian culture and Hindu culture is not expansionist. To seek welfare of the entire world is our nature which we have inherited from our history and culture. We are not expansionist," he said.
"Our neighbours like Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh would never think that India, on account of its strength, will invade them or encroach on their land.
"However, there is no (such) trust about China...China's rise was based on expansionism. They think they are superior, and their thinking is to conquer the whole world with the help of this power," Gadkari said.
"But our country, on the basis of its largest democracy, Hindu culture, Hindu religion and heritage thinks of the welfare of the entire world," he said.
India has the strength and power to guide the world and the words of Swami Vivekananda that the 21st century will belong to India is an inspiration for us, he said.
The Union minister was speaking at online unveiling of the book "Ram Mandir to Rashtra Mandir", brought out by the Saptahik Vivek publication.
"Today, we all are happy as the decks have been cleared for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Lord Ram was a role model in all aspects for mankind. Mahatma Gandhi had called Lord Ram's rajya (rule) as ideal. We want to create this Ram Rajya in our country," he said.
The creation of Ram temple is a victory of Indian culture, but that temple is not "communal and is not limited any one community", he added.
He also said that he had met Grameen Bank's founder Mohammad Yunus of Bangladesh at a conference.
"I am thinking of starting a socio-economic finance institution where small businesses will get loans upto Rs ten lakh," the Union minister who also handles the MSME portfolio said.