Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat urged Hindus to reunite for building a prosperous and militarily-strong India.
Addressing a gathering of more than a lakh people comprising tribals, professionals, farmers and saints on Tuesday, who had gathered at the venue from over 6,000 villages of Indore and Ujjain divisions, Bhagwat said it was not enough to be good and honest.
"We need power, military strength to protect our goodness, our purity of character and our diverse culture," the RSS chief remarked on Tuesday during the gathering that was named Ma Narmada Hindu Sangam. The event was organised in Maheshwar situated along the Narmada riverbank.
This was the third congregation of Hindus which Bhagwat addressed in Madhya Pradesh since 2002 and those present here on Tuesday were mostly members and supporters of the RSS and its affiliate organisations, including Vishwa Hindu Pradesh (VHP) and Bajrang Dal.
For over a decade, the RSS has been holding congregations of Hindus in tribal-dominant areas of Jhabua (2002) and Mandla (2010) where conversions had been taking place even before India's independence. Also, these Hindu Sangams are a platform to bring members, supporters of RSS and its over 40 affiliate organisations together to exchange thoughts on building a Hindu nation.
Moreover, holding such a large event in a small city or town helps the RSS register its presence, publicise its ideology and draw more people to its fold.
The Sangh also organises Hindu Kumbh (congregation) once in five years.
Drawing a parallel with the US and China, Bhagwat said US was an affluent nation while China is known for its military strength. But India alone can show the world how to live by using affluence and military strength for betterment of humanity. "Hindus alone have this art and strength. The world is looking at us to show the way," he added.
Without hitting directly at the West and Islam, Bhagwat said those who developed science for peace and advancement produced destructive weapons while those who wanted to unite the world through one faith unleashed violence and massacred thousands of people. But India, which gave most important scientific, astronomical and mathematical discoveries to the world, knew how to live in peace.
"Hame ek achha, pakka, sachcha Hindu banana hai," he said. (We have to be good, unwavering, true Hindus). Keeping in view the large number of tribals present in the gathering, he said the Sangh had no intention to change the diverse culture and different ways of living for Hindus.
"Hindus can reunite without letting go of their diverse ways of worship, dressing and eating habits," Bhagwat added. He said India cannot rise without Hindus becoming united and strong for which the Hindu society as a whole should be ready to make sacrifices.
Bhagwat ended his 35-minute speech by asking people present at the gathering to take a resolution that they will live and die for India.