‘India is conceptually a Hindu nation’: Mohan Bhagwat
Stressing that Muslims in India had forefathers who converted to Islam, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Saturday said India was conceptually a Hindu nation, where people from other faiths had come to stay.
Addressing a meeting of intellectuals this evening ahead of the meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal, the highest policy-making body of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in Bhubaneswar, the RSS chief did not take the name of the Muslim community, but hinted that they don’t realize that they are Hindus.
“If you ask them about their forefathers, then they will say they were Hindus. If you ask them about Qawali being prohibited in Islam, they will say it is allowed between Myanmar and Afghanistan. There is no ritual of worshipping of mausoleum in Islam; they will say it is prevalent in India. A former Rajya Sabha MP once told me they might have become Muslim over the years due to some reason, but they have not been able to forsake the practice of singing Bhajans in the form of Qawalis and idol worshipping in the form of mausoleum,” said Bhagwat, stressing that being a Hindu does not mean religion.
“We are a Hindu rashtra, but at the same time let me clarify Hinduism is not some form of worship or some language. Hinduism is the name of a cultural legacy which is the legacy of all people living in India. When the Jews were being chased away and looking for refuge, India was the only country that gave them shelter. The religion of Parsis is safe only in India. The most happy Muslims in the world would be found in India,” he said. The RSS chief said it is fine for Hindus and Muslims to have different ways of worshipping, but both are a part of the country. Once everyone realizes this then all conflict would be over.
Targetting those who criticized the RSS for espousing Hindutva, Bhagwat said there are people when asked about their identity would not reveal it, but behind closed doors would say they are Hindus. They do it because their personal interest gets hampered, he said.
This is for the first time in its history that RSS will hold the meeting of its highest policy-making body in Odisha. Around 400 functionaries of RSS from different states and affiliated groups would participate in the meeting to be held between October 14 and 20.