Used the word ‘Hindi’, not ‘Hindu’, clarifies Najma Heptulla

Heptulla was quoted as saying in a media report that "there is nothing wrong in calling all Indians Hindu".

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: August 30, 2014 7:03 am
In Arabic, Indians are called Hindi and Hindustani and Indian in Persian and English respectively, Najma said. (Source: PTI photo) In Arabic, Indians are called Hindi and Hindustani and Indian in Persian and English respectively, Najma said. (Source: PTI photo)

Union Minority Affairs minister Najma Heptulla on Friday denied the report that she had defended the RSS stand that all Indians are “Hindus”. She said that she had not used the word “Hindu” but the word “Hindi”.

“I did not use the word Hindu at all. I referred to the word Hindi. India, in Arabic, is Hind and all Indians are referred to as Hindi. It has nothing to do with religion but is a national identity. I have been misquoted in that report,” Heptulla told The Indian Express.

She was reacting to a report in the Hindustan Times in which she was quoted as saying that there is nothing wrong in Indians of whatever religion being called Hindus as it merely refers to where they live.

She declined to comment on RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statement that all Indians are Hindus and also on her party’s attempt to raise the issue of love jihad. “These are not germane to my ministry and take away from the Narendra Modi government’s agenda of development for all,” she said. The denial notwithstanding, the comments drew sharp reactions from several parties even as BJP sought to play them down.

Reacting to the newspaper report Congress leader Manish Tewari said: “We respect Najmaji a lot but it would be better if she reads the Constitution. The Constitution mentions ‘Bharat’ and going by that every citizen of the country is a ‘Bharatiya’ and not Hindu.”

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App now

  1. A
    Aug 29, 2014 at 2:06 pm
    LOL. Now we are fighting because foreigners (read Arabs) can't decide whether we should be called Hindi or Hindu?
    1. A
      Ashutosh Sharma
      Aug 30, 2014 at 7:34 am
      Tauseef Miyan, The consution is in two languages - Hindi and English. Also its translations might be available in other vernaculars. If you read it in Hindi then it says Bharat. Please get the facts right.Cheers.
      1. B
        Aug 29, 2014 at 5:41 pm
        I fail to understand the wicked mentality of Congress Leaders and their so called PSEUDO SECULAR CRONIES, Why not we call ourselves HINDI. During tour of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, immigration often asked me are you "HINDI", then HINDU or MUSLIM.It is our misfortune that Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru and Dr B.R. Ambedkar did not agree for common civil laws, where as majority of Members of First Lok Sabha wanted COMMON CIVIL LAWS for all Indian irrespective of different religion and faith. Even Rashtrapati Babu Rajendra Prasad returned the bill for reconsideration. Why Late Rajeev hi reversed Hon. Supreme Court judgement by enacting consution amendment bill in SHAH BANU CASE. Congress and other parties like SP, JDU, RJD, TMC,BSP, CPI, CPM are bent upon to keep Muslims in ghettos so that they remain their VOTE BANK. My appeal to all MUSLIM BROTHERS AND SISTERS " RISE FROM SLUMBER, AND PROGRESS WITH MAINSTREAM OTHERWISE YOUR COMING GENERATION SHALL NEVER FORGIVE YOU TOO. These Pseudo Secular Parties days are numbered. Woh toh doobey gein, Aap unn key saath kyuon doobna chahtey hein,.Read poem of Allama IQBAL " MAZHEB NAHIN SIKHATA AaPAS MEIN BAIR RAKHNA, HINDI HEIN HUM WATAN HAI HINDUSTAN HAMARA.Why were Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, Rafi Ahemd Kidwai were whementally opposed to Parion of India, because they knew that elite segment of Muslims migrated to stan and left you to be exploited by Congress. Congress never considered Muslim as HUMAN BEINGS BUT A COMMODITY TO BE USED DURING ELECTION. JAGO! JAGI! BAHUT HO LIYA!, AB MAJORITY KEY SAATH KANDHEY SEY KANDHA MILLA KER OTHHO AUR KAHO HUM HINDI HEIN magar hamara dharam ISLAAM HAI. JINNAH NEY KAHA HHA STAN MUSLIMS KEY LIYE JANAT HAI AAJ WOHI STAN MUSLIM KEY LIYE DOJAKH HAI SUNNY SHIA KO MAAR RAHE HEIN, SUNNY AHEMDIS AUR BOHRAS KO MAAR RAHEY HEIN. LOOT KHASOOT KA BAZAR GARAM HAI. STAN KO DEEMAK LAG CHUKKI HAI AUR BAHUT JALD APNE AAP HI TABAH HO JAYEY GA
        1. S
          Aug 29, 2014 at 4:26 pm
          since, this name Hinduastan and Hindu is creating a lot of problem. then we should do away with it. And all of us should called Bharatiya. Otherwise there'll always be confusion. And those of us care for unity should agree that Hindustan is creating confusion
          1. D
            Aug 29, 2014 at 8:46 pm
            In fact she has exhibited her depth of knowledge in Indian history. If we truly go back six hundred years ago all people(mostly Aryans and then mix of some Dravidians) in India were understood by foreigners to be from the land on the bank of river Sindh (Sndhu) and people of the land were called Hindhu instead of Sindhu by foreign invaders. The actual religion followed by such people for several thousands of years in the great land of Bharatbarsha was the Vedic religion or Philosophy that was founded on the spiritual messages given by many great Divine personalities(Avatars or Incarnations) and saints, Rishis etc. It was later condensed in short form by the holy messages of Lord Krishna in Bhagabat Gita. If all Indians are called Hindu or Hind, it does not necessarily mean that people do not have different religions or faith. The word "Indian" is not an Indian word. It is better to change it now to either Hindu or Hind or Bharatiya. I would also prefer that the country name should be changed to "Bharat" or "Bharatbarsha" as it was called before. All the people of the Indian subcontinent have in fact common ancestry, except for some descendants of the Invaders or rulers from foreign land. This should tie us with brotherhood and sisterhood for peace and prosperity.
            1. सिताराम शिंदे
              Aug 29, 2014 at 11:06 am
              Not to be criticised as everywhere the same pattern of calling locals, like American, Europeans, Sanglikar, Canedian, Bhartiya, Hindustani, Lankan's etc, only thing by creating controversy our min-minded leaders want to spark
              1. i
                Aug 29, 2014 at 3:44 pm
                Whether it is accident or not, she was right initially. All people living in this country were Hindus only, if we picture this country few centuries ago- including the current stan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. People either had converted or migrated from other places and hence this challenge of keeping up with fake secular ideny. If all people tried to be introspective without a bias for a minute, their heart can reveal it, their conscience can express it clearly. In the effort of forcibly labelling ourselves as secular nation, we are sacrificing our rich heritage and deep cultural roots. While countries all over are after finding a petty detail of their land and their history to fine tune their history books and ideny, we are foolishly abandoning proofs thrown into our faces. Pity.
                1. O
                  Aug 29, 2014 at 11:17 am
                  She cannot speak her mind if she wants to continue as a minister
                  1. B
                    Bipin Joshi
                    Aug 29, 2014 at 6:45 pm
                    Please read carefully! "India that is Bharat" is clearly mentioned in the beginning.
                    1. B
                      Aug 29, 2014 at 11:59 am
                      Smt. Najma, Mr.Shah Nawaz and Mr. Mukhtar may ask BJP to include all Indians in their ranks to engage in national progress without surfacing any hate politics to fellow citizens through its network/media.
                      1. K
                        Aug 29, 2014 at 11:54 am
                        Here afterwards no body is called Indian as ndia should be called Bharat as per our consution and all are bharatiyas or Bharatavasis. then there will be no squabbles. the word HIndu has become allergy for secularists.there is a song by Rajkapoor 'FIR DIL HAI HINDUSTANI".who stays in Hindustan are hindustanis.
                        1. L
                          Laxmanan Mohandoss
                          Aug 29, 2014 at 9:14 pm
                          She enjo in Gongress,now she is in BJP for loafes,when India was one?is any kingdom in ancient India was called as hindu nation?Ramar and Pandava kingdoms was not even called HINDU kingdom,
                          1. B
                            Aug 29, 2014 at 4:28 pm
                            I am a Zoroastrian from Bombay (Mumbai). But I was sometimes called Al-Hindi when I was working in an Arabic country. It just means "from India". Also, coconut or copra is called Joz Al-Hind in Arabic, which just means "fruit from India". So, IMHO if Najma Heptullah used the word "Hindi" to describe Indians it is not wrong.
                            1. M
                              Moin Khan
                              Aug 30, 2014 at 4:09 am
                              Who says, Mr. Bhagwat is anti-Muslim? See, what is he doing, he loves Muslims so much that he is carrying the name, the ideny given to his religious faith by Muslims. Yes, it is a bare fact that the term "Hindu" is given by Muslims.
                              1. S
                                Sudhir Mehta
                                Aug 29, 2014 at 2:43 pm
                                What is wrong that she said that all are Hindu who lives in Hindustan. This newspaper guy owned and financed by outside non Hindus that's why it is making lots of Fuss.
                                1. N
                                  Aug 29, 2014 at 10:37 am
                                  As far as I know Indians are called as Hindi by natives in gulf countries.
                                  1. C
                                    Aug 30, 2014 at 7:46 am
                                    I am giving below dictionary definition of Good Samaritan- IE also uses the word.1 (usually Good Samaritan) A charitable or helpful person (with reference to Luke 10:33): suddenly, miraculously, a Good Samaritan leaned over and handed the cashier a dollar bill on my behalfMore example sentences 2A member of a people inhabiting Samaria in biblical times, or of the modern community claiming descent from them, adhering to a form of Judaism accepting only its own ancient version of the Pentateuch as Scripture.Can I complain that you are calling a person a Jew ?Media- pl have some balanced view and not sensationalise everything
                                    1. S
                                      Aug 29, 2014 at 6:23 pm
                                      About 50 years ago while travelling by a boat through Suez Canal, I spent a day as a tourist in Egypt. On more than one occasion, I recall, I was asked by shop keepers if I was a 'Hindi'. Yes, Mrs Heptullah is right. All over the Middle East, the locals (Arabs) call India as 'Hind', and its natives as 'Hindis', not Hindus. It's our jingoistic media that is twisting her words to create an unnecessary controversy. Mrs Heptullah is also on good grounds when she quotes Iqbal's following lines that became very por in the 1940s heady days of freedom movement : ...Hindi hai, hum watan hai, Hindustan hamara. In fact a lot of us kidss had memorized Iqbal's entire poem that began as "Sare jahan se achha Hindustan hamara; hum bulblein hai iski, yeh gulustan hamara....Arun K. Chhabra, Attorney-at-law, Washington, DC, USA
                                      1. R
                                        Ram Pv
                                        Aug 30, 2014 at 3:54 am
                                        Eventually it will come to your name Subroto creating problem for someone else. Would you do away with it?Dont get me wrong.. how long will we keep denying what we are? I went to Mexico last year and they all referred to me a 'Hindu' guy. Which is what we are, as a look, feel, race whateve we are is called 'Hindu' and their original land is Hindustan.. what is the big fuss about?
                                        1. K
                                          Aug 29, 2014 at 2:44 pm
                                          Why prefer the Persian way rather than the Einglish? She is wrong when she says in no other country the citizens are called differently in different languages. The nationals of Germany are called "Deutschen" in German language, "Allemanen" in French and "German" in English. After all "what is there in a name?" Indians will remain as underdeveloped and poor whether you call them Hindu, Hindi or Indian.
                                          1. R
                                            R Prasad
                                            Aug 29, 2014 at 10:23 pm
                                            All peoples livings in America are always called as AMERICAN similarly all Indians staying in Hindustan (India) with Indian CITIZENSHIPS ARE CALLED Hindus than means HINDUSTANIS , we strongly feel that as if Najma Heptullah used the word "Hindu" to describe Indians it is nothing wrong. Afterall she knows that who are Hindustanis and whoelse is not Hindus are non-Hindustanis .
                                            1. Load More Comments