BANGALORE: Governor H R Bhardwaj on Thursday remarked that liberalism does not exist in the Hindu way of life and called for protection of minorities, especially Muslims.
“Hindu women married to Muslims are always welcome, but Muslim women married to Hindus are not. They don’t like living with Muslim women due to their orthodox system”, Bhardwaj said. He was speaking at the fifth Raj Bhavan Dr V K R V Rao Memorial Lecture here at Raj Bhavan.
“Jains are also Hindus, but they protested and defied Manu. They followed truth and non-violence and are the most prosperous community. I’m 50 per cent Jain myself because I like the way they maintain values”, Bhardwaj said.
Calling for protection of minorities, he dismissed portrayals of Muslims as aggressive and as terrorists, adding that Muslims ruled the country for long.
Islam, too, he said, is weakening with each passing day. “I don’t have anything against Islam but it was modern earlier. It is going down now as there is no Maulana Abul Kalam Azad or Mohammad Hidayatullah,” the governor said.
The Two Indias
Delivering the memorial lecture, Centre for Policy Research (New Delhi) president and chief executive Pratap Bhanu Mehta said there are two ideas of India - one of a federation of communities and another where there is individual freedom.
Bhardwaj rejected this saying the priority is to keep India united.
Prof Mehta, in his lecture, argued that the textbook version of diversity has obscured moral conversations.
“Our understanding of diversity is a mode of imprisoning us from liberal thinking. It is a tyranny of compulsory identities. Each community has an identity in society so long as the community stayed in its place. On one hand, we say we are tolerant. On the other, we won’t rent houses or give credit to Muslims”, he argued.