At WHC, he warns against narrow interpretation of Hinduism

Swami Vivekananda’s ideas of universal tolerance, compassion, and concern for the poor are as relevant today as they were during his lifetime, Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu told the World Hindu Congress (WHC), an international conference organised by affiliates of the RSS. The event coincides with the 125th anniversary of Vivekananda’s address to the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago in 1893.
Delivering the valedictory speech at the conference that has raised concerns of the promotion of a Hindu supremacist agenda among several American civil rights groups, Mr. Naidu recalled Vivekananda’s famous statement that was pointedly absent from the deliberations so far: “We Hindus do not merely tolerate, we unite ourselves with every religion, praying in the mosque of the Mohammedan, worshipping before the fire of the Zoroastrian, and kneeling to the cross of the Christian…” The Vice-President warned against any narrow interpretation of Hinduism, and called for universal acceptance and tolerance but also added themes that dominated speeches and discussions over the past three days — Hinduism is the world’s greatest religion, it did not conquer any other country “despite being the greatest,” and it is under threat. Mr. Naidu, himself a former RSS volunteer, said as Vice-President he had retired from politics but not from public life. “I was in BJP in my purvashram . Right now, I am out of politics. I am retired from politics but not from public life. Therefore, I thought it is my responsibility to attend this meeting. We discussed about Indian V-P participating in such an event being organised in honour of Swami Vivekananda. The decision was that I must. I am very happy to be here,” he said.
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