In the backdrop of the raging JNU row, Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday said the country is going through a crisis of values as those who challenge Indianness are considered intellectuals while those speaking for it are labelled as fools.

"We are going through a crisis of values. This is a time when those who talk about ‘Bharatiyata’ (Indianness) are labelled as fools. While those challenging Indianness are termed as intellectuals," said the Minister of State in the PMO.

"Is this situation a paradox or a perversion?" he questioned and added that humility is considered weakness and oppressors are considered brave.

Singh’s comments come amid a row over the arrest of JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar in connection with an event organised on the campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. There were allegations that anti-India slogans were raised during the event.

The minister also hit out at the critics of the government on debate over tolerance saying, "Can tolerance be virtue of those who themselves do not have the strength to be tolerant?" 

He said governments would come and go, "but can we afford a question mark on the very existence of mother India itself?" 

Singh was speaking at an event organised by J&K study circle, a think-tank considered close to RSS, on Kashmiri saint-philosopher Acharya Abhinavagupta where Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and British Parliamentarian Bob Blackman were present.

He also referred to an incident where an American President when asked a question about self-determination in Atlanta, responded by saying it is a closed chapter.

"Such advanced countries, old democracies, have closed chapters. But we have not been able to. And if we close the chapter, we tend to open it. We have no bottomlines," he said.

He said that governments would come and go, but can we afford a question mark on the very existence of mother India, itself?