Goa’s Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza on Monday apologized for his comment that India was already a Hindu nation.
“My opinion could be wrong for others. I accept it. I don’t say it is the most correct opinion. You might say I am wrong. If anyone’s sentiment is hurt, I apologise,” D’Souza said.
“Hindu is my culture, Christianity is my religion. When I say Hindu, it means culture and not religion. Hindu culture is 5,000 years old and my religion is 2,000 years old,” D’Souza said.
D’Souza said Friday: “India is a Hindu country. It is Hindustan. All Indians in Hindustan are Hindus, including me, I am a Christian Hindu.”
His comments triggered an uproar in the national media and on the political scene. The opposition asked the Goa Roman Catholic Church to excommunicate him for committing heresy.
D’Souza is one of the senior-most minority members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Goa and has been the party’s poster-boy as far as the Christian community is concerned.
Christians account for nearly 26 percent of the state’s population.