BJP general secretary Ram Madhav has said that he believes India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will reunite one day to form an “undivided India” through “popular goodwill”.
“The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) still believes that one day these parts, which have for historical reasons separated only 60 years ago, will again, through popular goodwill, come together and Akhand Bharat (undivided India) will be created,” Madhav told Doha-based Al Jazeera news network in an interview.
“As an RSS member, I also hold on to that view,” he said, clarifying he did not mean to “wage a war” against any of the neighbours.
“That does not mean we wage war on any country, [or that] we annex any country. Without war, through popular consent, it can happen,” he said.
“If two Germanys can come together, what makes you believe that India and Pakistan can’t come together?”
On Saturday, Madhav told HT that he presented the RSS view in response to a question that asked whether the RSS still held on to that belief.
Madhav is a national executive member of the RSS, a right-wing outfit considered to be the ideological parent of the ruling BJP. Madhav said the RSS ideology is for the supremacy of India and the organisation is neither “fascist” nor “aggressive”.
The programme containing Madhav’s comments was apparently recorded in London before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Pakistan on Christmas when he met his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, and discussed ways of improving ties between the two countries. The programme was aired late on Friday night.
Speaking on writers and intellectuals returning their awards to protest against “growing intolerance”, Madhav said in the Al Jazeera interview that they were doing it “to defame the government and in turn to defame the image of India”. The BJP leader said the mode of their protest was “wrong”.
Madhav said India is “a land where a particular way of life, a particular culture or civilisation, is practised”.
“We call it Hindu - do you have any objection? India has one culture. We are one culture, one people, one nation,” he told the channel.
On the Jammu and Kashmir issue, he said: “The only outstanding issue with regard to the Kashmir problem is the Kashmir under Pakistan occupation.”
“The Kashmir that is an integral part of India, it has been proved time and again that it’s an integral part of India,” he said.
(With agency inputs)