If someone is a Hindu, he will be patriotic and that will be his basic character and nature, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said on Friday while citing Mahatama Gandhi's remarks that his patriotism originates from his dharma.
Mr Bhagwat was speaking at an event to release the book titled "Making of a Hindu Patriot: Background of Gandhiji's Hind Swaraj", authored by JK Bajaj and MD Srinivas.
Releasing the book, Mr Bhagwat said there is no need for speculation that the Sangh "is trying to appropriate Gandhiji, that is not the case, no one can appropriate great personalities like him."
Describing the book as an authentic scholarly research document on Mahatma Gandhi, Mr Bhagwat said he had suggested that for him his dharma and patriotism are not different as love for his motherland originates from his spirituality.
"Gandhiji had said that his patriotism originates from his dharma," Mr Bhagwat said asserting that dharma does not merely mean religion, it is wider than religion.
"If someone is Hindu, he has to be patriotic, that will be his or her basic character and nature. At times you may have to awaken his or her patriotism but he (Hindu) can never be anti-India. But we have to be conscious of the fact that if one loves his country it doesn't mean land only, it means its people, rivers, culture, traditions and everything," he said.
He underlined that Hinduism believes in the existence of unity.
"Difference does not mean separatism and Gandhiji has suggested that Hinduism is the religion of all religions," he said.