Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday (1 June) emphasised the importance of Hindu-Muslim unity for the nation's progress and stated that although certain communities arrived from outside and have been opposed in the past, it was still our collective responsibility to change their mindset for the better.
Bhagwat was addressing a ceremony of the Sangh Shiksha Varg in Nagpur and discussed the presence of outsider groups in Indian society.
Bhagwat said that some communities came from abroad and our ancestors fought those who brought them.
"But the outsiders have gone. Everyone is an insider. So, forgetting the relations of the outsiders and even now those who may be under the influence of those outsiders, we must realise they are our own people and behave with them accordingly. If there still is any shortcoming in their thinking, then making them aware is our collective responsibility," Bhagwat was quoted by The Indian Express as saying.
The fear of losing one's identity and the baggage of the past often prevents us from uniting as a community, he said.
"We feel if we involve ourselves with the worship of the motherland, which belongs to everyone, we will lose our identity. Who wants a different identity? There are no separate identities," he said.
"Inside India, our separate identities are secure. Outside, if you are different from the core identity of a nation, it is difficult for you to lead a happy life,” he added.
“We have to exercise restraint in our interpersonal interactions. We have to embrace dialogue instead of dispute. Our diversity is not a division but our unity,” he said.
Bhagwat said that once upon a time, the entire world faced attacks as Islam spread from Spain to Mongolia.
“Slowly and steadily, people awakened and defeated the attackers. This confined Islam to its own area… The vandals are gone, Islam is most secure here. This peaceful co-existence has been there for centuries,” he said.
He stated that despite differences in prayer methods, we should accept the reality that our ancestors were from this country.
“Our methods of prayer may be different, but we are of this country. Our ancestors were from this country. Why are we not able to accept this reality?” he said.
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