All Indians are Hindus, says RSS chief

Warm welcome:RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat arrives in Meerut on Sunday.AFP  

One may follow a different religion, different culture, philosophy, language and style of eating, but everyone living in India is a Hindu, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said at the “Rashtrodaya Sammelan” organised by the organisation here on Sunday.

“Every Hindu is my brother. In India, one may follow a different eating habit, way of worshipping gods, philosophy, language and culture. But all are Hindus. There are many who are Hindu but they are not aware of it. Only those who consider Bharat Mata his own mother are true Hindus,” said the RSS chief while addressing a gathering of over a lakh.

Huge gathering

This was the largest-ever gathering of RSS workers in Uttar Pradesh, and the organisation had been preparing for the event for a year. Many see it as part of preparing the ground for the BJP ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

While repeatedly describing diversity as a feature of Indian civilisation which highlighted unity, Mr. Bhagwat said, “The entire world thinks that to be one, everyone needs to follow the same culture, same way of living, but in India, we talk about Vasudeva Kutumbakam .” While talking about the importance of self-pride in being a Hindu, he said, “All should accept with pride that they are a Hindu. That is why we are one.”

“We Hindus need to be one because taking care of this country is our responsibility and we are accountable for that. Since time immemorial, we have been living here. We need to know how to defend ourselves. Those who don’t know how to defend themselves, how will they develop. We need to be ready for that,” Mr. Bhagwat said.

On being a “ kattar Hindu (hardcore Hindu)”, Mr. Bhagwat said “being a kattar Hindu means udarta (being liberal)”. In an attempt to correct the image after his controversial comment that the RSS could mobilise faster than the Army, he said a worker of the organisation in Raiganj district of West Bengal had become a martyr while fighting along with the BSF on the West Bengal-Bangladesh border in the 1971 war.