Without naming either Raj Thackeray or his Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat said here at a public rally on Sunday that some political parties in the country were "converting India's diversity into discrimination for political gains."
Mr. Bhagwat said: "The issues and concerns of the Marathi-speaking people are justified. But to what extent will one go to get those addressed? Will it be at the cost of India's unity?" He said India and her unity were supreme and above all other considerations.
"Diversity flourishes because it has the strong base of unity," he said. He asked his audience that comprised 1,200 RSS workers and the general public to "accept and respect all kinds of diversity be it in terms of language, State or anything else."
The RSS chief, who ended his two-day Pune visit with the rally, heaped praise on the Chief Ministers of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, B.S. Yeddyurappa and M. Karunanidhi, for setting aside differences on the issue of distribution of Cauvery waters and instead indulging in statue diplomacy. "Yeddyurappa installed a statue of Tamil poet-saint Thiruvalluvar in Karnataka, while Karunanidhi installed one of Kannada poet Sarvajna in his State. Why can't we have more of this?"
On a cautionary note, Mr. Bhagwat said people got a government they deserved in a democracy. And, therefore, for political representatives to change, the society's outlook would have to change.
Unity through Hindutva
He attributed India's globally unparalleled unity-in-diversity to Hindutva "through its teachings of humanity and fraternity."
"Other countries of the world have traditionally thought of all things that were not in keeping with their culture as their enemy. They were driven by a need for uniformity, and so they forced all those who were unlike them to become like them." Globalisation was an implicit manifestation of this trend wherein the first world imposed its lifestyle.