Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the ‘Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’ (RSS), was addressing a book-release program in Ghaziabad on Sunday, made a strong pitch for religious harmony and said there cannot be any dominance of either Hindus or Muslims in a democracy like India.
Addressing the program organized by the Muslim Wing of RSS, Muslim Rashtriya Manch, Bhagwat said that development in the country is not possible without unity, the basis of which should be nationalism and glory of ancestors.
He also recited shayari (poetry) in the launch book, The Meetings of Minds: A Bridging Initiative, written by Dr. Khawaja Iftikhar Ahmed.
He said; “We are in a democracy. There can’t be dominance of Hindus or Muslims. There can only be dominance of Indians.”
He said that nationalism should be the basis of unity among the people of the country.
Speaking against the incidents of mob lynching, Bhagwat said those involved in such acts of violence were against Hindutva.
However that there have been some false cases of lynching at times that have been filed against some people, Bhagwat added: “If a Hindu says that no Muslim should live here, then the person is not Hindu. Cow is a holy animal but the people who are lynching others are going against Hindutva. Law should take its own course against them without any partiality.”
Bhagwat told the gathering that people must not get trapped in the cycle of fear that Islam is in danger in India.
The RSS chief said the term “Hindu-Muslim unity” was misleading because Hindus and Muslims were essentially one.
“DNA of all Indians is the same, irrespective of religion,” he said, adding that people cannot be differentiated based on how they worship.
While beginning his speech, Bhagwat said that it is not some image makeover or vote bank politics for the RSS to woo Muslims ahead of assembly elections, the RSS chief allayed fears that majoritarianism is on the rise in India.
Bhagat’s remarks are significant as the RSS has previously been accused by opposition political parties of promoting majoritarianism and Hindutava in the country.
The RSS is the ideological fountain head of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
He said; “If you don’t want to call yourself a Hindu, you can call yourself an Indian instead. But we should leave aside these differences over words and should work together for the country.”