"Outsiders Have Gone, Now Everyone Is Insider": RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat

The unique identity of the Muslim community had been safe in the country for decades, said Mohan Bhagwat.

'Outsiders Have Gone, Now Everyone Is Insider': RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat

Mohan Bhagwat was addressing the closing ceremony of a training camp at the Rss headquarters in Nagpur.

New Delhi:

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday said India had preserved Muslim traditions and ways of worship for centuries, and that the unique identity of members of the community had been safe in the country for decades, despite some people stressing on the differences.

He said the "baggage of the past, combined with the ego of some", was preventing Hindu-Muslim communities from showing their oneness, and while dialogue was the only way forward, it was also important for everyone to "not stress on a separate identity and accept the national identity as the unifier."

Mr Bhagwat was addressing the closing ceremony of a training camp at the headquarters in Nagpur of the RSS, which is the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP. "The emotional integration of communities in the country will come only with the understanding that we have been one for centuries, despite differences," he said.

"There were communities that came here from other places. We fought with them then, but they are gone now. Baharwale sab chale gaye, ab sab andarwale hai. (There are only insiders now), So we must live, forgetting the links with outsiders. Everyone here is part of us. If there is any difference in their thinking, we must talk to them. India's unity is paramount and everyone should work towards that," he said.

"...And who wants a separate identity...We don't have one. Our unique identities are the safest in India, not outside. Our relationship with our country is not transactional. We celebrate diversities, and we will figure out ways to live together," said the RSS chief.

"Dialogue is important for harmony, and to be one, everyone has to leave something for society. One-sided efforts for harmony will not work. Everyone has to make sacrifices, and that comes through habit, and sanskar (values)," he added.

Mr Bhagwat said incidents of violence took place because people forget they are one. "This is our motherland. Our ways of worship are different. Some of them have come from outside. But the reality is that our forefathers are from this country. Some invaders came and left, and many stayed behind. Some feel their identity will get destroyed if they subsume it with the motherland's. That is not true," he said, adding that from Spain to Mongolia, Islam had ruled once, but people living there started fighting the invaders soon.

Referring to the 1947 Partition, Mr Bhagwat said the country would not have been divided into two "just because some people thought they look different and they are different from the rest if there was acceptance that all our forefathers belonged to this country."

Mr Bhagwat also said evils of caste discrimination should have no place in Indian society, and claimed that the Hindu society forgot its own values and ideals, which is why it became a victim of "aggression". "We have seen the injustice of oppression of caste. We are grateful to our forefathers, but we will also pay their debts," he said.

The RSS chief said there should be limits to politics when it comes to national interest, and one should remember that there are people who try to provoke conflict between groups.

"It is a democracy. There will always be a race to power among political parties. But there has to be a limit to politics. They can keep criticising each other as much as they want but they should have the discretion to not let that cause divisions in the society," he said, adding that people can see through such politics, and are aware of the forces that want divisions in India.

Recalling Maratha emperor Shivaji's "Hindavi swaraj," he said both Shivaji and Sambhaji, and hundreds of common people had sacrificed and fought all their lives for self-rule. "It is important to rejuvenate our ancient values. Be it governance, or the navy he built -- the first in modern India, it reflected his desire for self-rule. When Aurangzeb destroyed the Kashi temple, he reminded him of his duties as a king and even warned him. His vision of Hindavi raj is what we call Hindu Rashtra," he said.

He said there was a national consciousness of sorts in the country with the stories of revolutionaries and freedom fighters taking centre-stage in the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of India's independence. "Everyone has been talking about how the world is keenly watching us grow, face and overcome challenges such as Covid-19. The G-20 presidency is with us."