Right-wing group RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat recalled the words of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College which later became Aligarh Muslim University at the second day oif a three-day RSS lecture series event in New Delhi and stated, “Hindu Rashtra does not mean it has no place for Muslims. The day it is said that Muslims are unwanted here, the concept of Hindutva will cease to exist”, PTI reported.
He said he will “respect” the sentiments of those who wish to be called “Bharatiya” and not Hindu.
While referring to Ahmed Khan’s speech at a Arya Samaj community function meant to felicitate him for becoming “the first Muslim barrister”, he said Khan told the gathering “I am very upset that you did not consider me one of your own. Am I not a son of Mother India? Nothing has changed except our ways of worship.”
He observed that the sentiments of the people at that time while it remained undivided were similar. We need to return that. If you do not want to call that Hindu, as we do, call it Bharatiya. We will respect what you say,” he said.
We say ours is a Hindu Rashtra. Hindu Rashtra does not mean it has no place for Muslims. The day it is said that Muslims are unwanted here, the concept of Hindutva will cease to exist. Hindutva believes that the world is a family,” he said.
He also praised the Congress for playing a pivotal role in te freedom movement against the British. “Congress played a big role in the freedom struggle and gave India many great personalities. Some of those people are still our guiding force,” he said.
“The image of Bharat is that we accept and welcome diversity… global dharma was nurtured here. Bharat is the trustee of all this knowledge, and has given it to the world from time to time,” he said.
“Like an examination in which we solve the easy questions first and then pick the hard ones later… we will organise those first who admit they are Hindus… There might be people who consider us enemy… our objective is not to finish them but to take them along… that is Hindutva in the real sense,” he said.
He said the RSS does not dictate a party’s politics or the policies of its government — Bhagwat said it pushes for what it believes are in the interest of the country. He said the issue of illegal immigrants (ghuspaithiye) was one such matter where the RSS will never hesitate to spell out its position.