NEW DELHI: Saying “Hindutva” is an inclusive concept and does not represent hostility to Muslims, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday asserted his organisation has embraced the Constitution, including the insertions of “socialist, secular” in its Preamble. “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 inclusiveness,” he said on the second day of the three-day lecture series, “Bhavishya Ka Bharat — an RSS Perspective” at Vigyan Bhavan here.
Responding to the charge that RSS wants to change the Constitution, Bhagwat said the Constitution of the country is “sacrosanct as it reflects the consciousness of the country”. “We have accepted the Constitution and its adherence is everyone’s responsibility. Constitution makers passed it with consensus. Rest of the laws are based on the Constitution and the court has the right to interpret it … therefore it is the consciousness of the country and we must adhere to it,” Bhagwat said.
He read out the Preamble and referred to “socialist and secular” added to the Constitution through the 42nd amendment in 1976. “The two words were added later but we have to accept them too,” he said.
Bhagwat laid stress on that part of the Preamble — “And to promote among them all fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the mation” — attributing it to Dalit icon B R Ambedkar who felt the “country became a colony because of infighting among Indians”.
In a veiled reference to Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s recent comparison of RSS with ‘Muslim Brotherhood’, the RSS chief said, “The Sangh talks of a global brotherhood. This brotherhood envisages unity in diversity. This is the tradition of Hindutva. That’s why we call it a Hindu Rashtra.”
On the issue of RSS’ “over insistence” on Hindutva, Bhagwat said they are considerate about all but their primary aim is to touch upon those who accept they are Hindus. “We don’t enforce conversions but express our viewpoint and we accept diversity,” he said.
Tackling allegations BJP is remote-controlled by RSS, he said, “Allegations like phone calls from Nagpur are misplaced. There are several leaders who are senior to me. They have a long political experience.” Bhagwat, however, said RSS does take stand on issues concerning the nation and it can’t sit idle in every situation. “We take strong stand in national interest. We are apolitical but that doesn’t mean that we won’t speak on issues like illegal immigrants,” the RSS chief said.
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