RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, who has shared his views on wide-ranging subjects in course of a three-day outreach conclave, said today, "Everyone who lives in India is Hindu by identity, nationality."
Speaking on the last day of the Bhavishya ka Bharat - an RSS perspective", Mohan Bhagwat said: "All those who live in India are Hindu. They hesitate to say that. All people are our own. Our tradition is unity."
Mohan Bhagwat, responding to questions on mob attacks by self-declared cow protectors, also said that "gau raksha (cow protection) should not be confused with vigilantism or mob violence".
The RSS of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP.
The conclave, which featured invitees from various fields, is seen as an attempt at a makeover by the organization widely perceived as a fountainhead of pro-Hindu ideology and groups.
In that theme, Mr Bhagwat said the RSS is not against inter-caste marriage and it really is a question of compatibility between a man and woman.
If there is was a "census" on inter-caste marriages, he remarked, the maximum cases would be from the Sangh.
Yesterday, the RSS chief had said "Hindutva" means inclusivity and accepting Muslims is a part of it. "Hindu Rashtra doesn't mean there's no place for Muslims. If we don't accept Muslims, it's not Hindutva. Hindutva is Indianness and inclusivity," he had said.
Mohan Bhagwat surprised his audience on Day 1 by praising the role of the Congress in the freedom movement. "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.
In what was seen to be a message for the BJP leadership, the RSS chief also sought to distance the organization from any political role saying the Sangh has views on national issues but does not interfere in the government's functioning.
"Often people make this speculation that a call from Nagpur (RSS headquarters) must be behind a particular decision (of the government). This is all baseless. All those working (in the government) are seniors and they are far more experienced in politics than us," said the RSS chief, asserting that "They are our Swayamsevaks, but are capable of doing their job."