Ultranationalist chief: Everyone is Hindu in India, even Muslims
Mohan Bhagwat is the leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He spoke at a Hindu conference in Madhya Pradesh. "Muslims are also Hindus by nationality but Islamic in faith." "Some evil forces will exploit the poor, the sick and the ignorant, and will ensure that they act against the country."
Mumbai (India) - "Every person living in India is Hindu, including Muslims, who are Hindus by nationality but Islamic by faith”, said Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Hindu ultra-nationalist paramilitary group and of which the ruling party BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) is the political arm. He spoke during the '' Hindu Sammelan "[Hindu Conference] in Betul, Madhya Pradesh, and stated that "everyone must respect the 'Bharat Mata [Mother India] is a Hindu. "
He had previously visited the # 1 local prison cell, where in 1948 after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned M S Golwalkar, former head of the RSS. Speaking to AsiaNews, Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), complains: "The head of the RSS continues to carry on the ideology of the founders of the radical right. This declaration and paying homage to the cell where Gowalikar was imprisoned, launches a strong message to the ideology of Hindutva ".
Bhagwat said: "Even if we follow different faiths, and we have different ways of worship, we are all the same thing. If India wants to become a world leader, Hindus must assume their responsibilities. If something goes wrong, the questions are only posed to the Hindus ". This is because, he stressed, "India is a country only for Hindus."
The RSS chief urged Hindus to remain united. "If we remain united - he said - and we do not help others, some evil forces will exploit the poor, the ignorant and the sick. They will use these differences to make sure that some people act against the country. " Some commentators see in this sentence indirect accusation of Christians involvement in social activities. Then he added: "We do not want anyone to remain weak. We want them to become capable and from receivers become donors. "
The GCIC condemns the comments of the leader of the radical Hindu group, and says that they "create division and sow discord and suspicion. Also comments of this type take target the most vulnerable sectors of Indian society, such as minorities, the Dalits and the tribals. "
Sajan K George said that "India's Constitution guarantees our religious freedom, cultural diversity and pluralism". And he concludes: "The leader of the ultranationalist fringe must refrain from uttering similar fascist statements".