On the second day of the festive Navratri season -- when Goddess Durga is worshipped across the country as a symbol of power -- Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today recalled an age when the deity was the defence minister.
"From Puranas we find that the education minister was Goddess Saraswati, defence minister was Durga Devi and finance minister was Laxmi Devi," he told would-be business leaders here, drawing a round of applause from the gathering.
In a paean to the strength of Indian women, he said they were given the highest importance in "our philosophies...our culture".
The country's major rivers -- Ganga, Yamuna, Kaveri, Narmada, Mahanadi, Tapti -- were all named after women, he said at the 15th edition of the Indian School of Business Leadership Summit 2017 here.
"We also call our country Bharat Mata or Mother India," the vice president said, as he stressed the need to empower women and give them equal opportunities.