Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday said people should leave their "political spectacles" behind while embarking on a foreign visit, in an apparent reference to a row over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's remarks made during a recent visit to the United Kingdom.
Speaking at a World Homeopathy Day function here, Dhankhar said as India lays the foundation for the centenary of its independence in 2047, every attempt that seeks to attack the country's dignity should be blunted.
"Have you ever noticed a foreign dignitary or foreign national on a visit to this great democracy decrying or criticising his nation? The answer is an obvious no. Why cannot we take pride in our scientists, health warriors and compliment our innovation?" Dhankhar asked.
"Whenever we travel out of the country, we should leave our political spectacles behind. This will be beneficial for the country as well as the individual," he added.
The vice president's comments came in the wake of Gandhi's remarks made in the UK, expressing regret that democratic parts of the world, including the United States and Europe, have failed to notice that a "large chunk of democracy has come undone" in India.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed the Congress leader's remarks, accusing him of maligning India on foreign soil and seeking an apology from him. The row over Gandhi's remarks also hit Parliament, leading to a near washout of the second part of the Budget Session.
The vice president has also been critical of Gandhi's remarks and has expressed his displeasure on previous occasions as well.
Addressing the homeopathy practitioners, Dhankhar said everyone should resolve to add to India's prestige abroad and not allow it to be maligned.
"We must take pride in our historic achievements and be proud Indians. India has become the fifth-largest global economy and by all objective assessment, by the turn of the decade, it will be the third-largest economy. This is because of the commitment of our people and their good health. If we are assured of good health, nothing can stop us," he said.
The vice president urged businessmen and industrialists to stand committed to economic nationalism. "No amount of economic gain can justify deviation from economic nationalism," he said.
Dhankhar said homeopathy as a form of treatment has a rich history spanning over two centuries.
"In our country, in the last few years, it is being nurtured and has become a significant factor to our health apparatus and mechanism. The World Health Organization acknowledges homeopathy as the second-largest and fastest-growing system of medicine in the world and it has marked its presence in more than 80 countries," he added.
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