No mercy should be shown to those who discriminate on the basis of caste, religion, region or sex, said Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday and bemoaned the tendency to link even icons like Mahatma Gandhi with their caste.Speaking at an awards ceremony during the ongoing "India Ideas Conclave", Naidu said some people perceive the word "Hindu" from a narrow religious connotation."Discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, region, caste or sex and discrimination on the basis of your belief... This should not be allowed at all. That has not been the tradition of India," Naidu said."Anybody indulging in such things he has to be identified and law must take its own course and the society must also come together and tell him what you have done is wrong. The weakness in our system is that because of politics, you try to highlight it and blow it out of proportions and sometimes people try to make it heroism also," he said.The Vice President also said that instead of taking a sensationalist view of stories which deal with discrimination, such elements should be dealt with in isolation and without mercy.
"And thanks to the media (which) makes it sometimes very sensational, thereby hurting national interest also. We have to identify them. We have to isolate them. We have to take action against them, without any mercy. I am very clear about it, otherwise this will spoil the name of the civilisation," Naidu said.Even the Vedas speak of equality, universal peace, tolerance, non-violence, welfare and brotherhood, where nobody is superior or inferior, he added.Naidu said that Indianness is the same as Hindutva and that the nomenclature should not be an issue at all."There should not be (an) issue with this. It is the unfortunate part of our system that some people view 'Hindu' in a very narrow, religious perspective. Hindu is not a narrow religious connotation. It is a larger identity of way of living of the people of this country for years togethe. That is why this civilisation is able to survive after so many onslaughts," Naidu said.The Vice President also cautioned against the trend where heroes were being bracketed with region or caste."Unfortunately in our community, there is another weakness. Some of the great heroes, they are localised, sometimes they are communitised also. He belongs to this community, some people say even about Mahatma Gandhi. They belong to the entire country, not one party or caste or religion," he said.