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Goa CM’s ‘culturally Hindu’ comment gets Catholic flak

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement last week about Goan Catholics being ‘culturally Hindu’ has caused Francisco Pacheco, whose regional party supports the BJP coalition government, to react sharply on Saturday.

‘We are all human beings. Who is what, whether he is Hindu, Muslim, Catholic culturally does not matter,’ said Pacheco, a legislator from Nuvem legislative constituency.

Pacheco, the head of the Goa Vikas Party (GVP), said he did not agree with what Parrikar had said in an interview to a news organisation.

‘India is a Hindu nation in the cultural sense (Hindus are 82 per cent of the population). A Catholic in Goa is also Hindu culturally, because his practices don’t match Catholics in Brazil (a former Portuguese outpost like Goa); except in the religious aspect, a Goan Catholic’s way of thinking and practice matches a Hindu’s,’ Parrikar had said in the interview published in question-and-answer format.

‘I do not agree with the statement,’ said Pacheco, a Roman Catholic, said. 

Parrikar’s comment triggered controversy, especially because Catholics were seen to have voted for the BJP during the March 2012 elections, putting an end to the eight-year Congress regime in the state.
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