New Delhi: RSS Sarasanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat Tuesday said Hindus and Muslims have the same ancestors, and described them as “brothers”, invoking a pitch he has often made in recent weeks amid apprehensions about growing polarisation in India under the BJP-led central government.
“Ancestors of Hindus and Muslims are the same. We all are brothers, living in the same country. Our civilisation is one, only our pattern of worship is different,” he said.
“We can’t discriminate on the basis of patterns of worship. Those who belong to India, their security is our responsibility.”
Bhagwat was speaking at the launch of ‘Veer Savarkar: The man who could have prevented Partition’, a book by information commissioner and former journalist Uday Mahurkar.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also attended the event.
Bhagwat said “Savarkar’s Hindutva was not different from Vivekananda’s”.
“It was not against Muslims. Our culture is liberal, our culture is Hindutva, nobody becomes separate due to their way of worshipping. Our (Hindus’ and Muslims’) ancestors are one. If this thought process had persisted at the time of the freedom movement, there would have been a way to stop Partition,” Bhagwat added.
Quoting Chhatrapati Shivaji, the 17th-century Maratha emperor, Bhagwat said he always stated that one God has given birth to Hindus and Muslims, and there should be no ambiguity about this.
“There is no such thing as minority and majority, which the Kerala governor recently said at a function. Hindus and Muslims share the same civilisation, which is our culture. Muslims are our brothers,” he added, referring to statements made by Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan last week.
Khan said he disapproved of the binary of “majority-minority” in India as all citizens enjoy “equal rights”.
Bhagwat also referred to the RSS’ dreams of an “Akhand Bharat” — an India that includes Pakistan and Bangladesh — saying the “dream of a united India will happen”.
“It is necessary for the world also. Nobody who separated from India is happy. Lohia’s dream was also united India. Our dream should be to make an adarsh (ideal) brotherhood society in India,” he said.
‘Gandhi, Savarkar respected each other’
Echoing Mahurkar, he said roads should not be named after those Muslim kings who invaded India and “were against our civilisation”.
“Akbar is good but not Aurangzeb. There are so many good examples, from Dara Shikoh to Ashfaqullah Khan (freedom fighter), they should be honoured.
“We always say appeasement of none should be our mantra. It was propagated by Savarkar also.”
Bhagwat said “there was a difference of opinion between Gandhi and Savarkar on many issues but both respected each other”.
“Both cared for the other’s sentiments. It was a few people who tried to create differences between them.”
Rajnath Singh said there was an effort by “Marxist historians” to “defame Savarkar”.
“Some people call him fascist and Nazi, but he was a great nationalist and freedom fighter. On Gandhi’s instruction, he filed a mercy petition, which was the right of every prisoner, but to defame him, it is used as a weapon,” he added, apparently referring to Opposition claims about Savarkar’s alleged apology letter to the British.
“It is not pardonable,” he said. “He was one of India’s finest security strategists. He raised the alarm about several challenges, which emerged true in due course of time.”
(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)