Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar has called upon the central government to rein in Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat for his controversial remark, calling "all citizens of Hindustan as Hindus".
In a statement issued here on Tuesday, Makkar said: "Such remark is not in the interest of the country that strongly believes in the principles of secularism."
"The remark in itself is an insult to the secular image of the nation," he added, while reminding the RSS chief that every citizen had the right to practice and preach his or her religion.
"The government needs to control Bhagwat as such utterances can threaten the peace and communal harmony of the country," he added.
Claiming that the RSS chief was trying to project that India belongs only to the Hindus, Makkar advised him to read the history of the Indian freedom struggle for getting an insight into the contributions and sacrifices that had been made by the minority communities for the country's Independence.
"You will also get a fair idea of the role of your own family in the freedom struggle," he added.
Asking Bhagwat not to confuse nationality with religion, Makkar remarked: "All those residing in Hindustan may be Hindustanis, but they all are definitely not Hindus. There are others like the Sikhs, Christians, Muslims, Buddhist and many more."