THE CITIZEN BUREAU | 18 AUGUST, 2014
NEW DELHI: The RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has declared India to be a Hindu nation. An old slogan renewed by the top leadership vociferously and with more vigour than ever seen before in the past.
Bhagwat is now personally leading the charge, having surpassed and outclassed his front organisations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad when he said categorically, “ Hindustan is a Hindu nation. Hindutva is the identity of our nation and it (Hinduism)can incorporate others (religions) in itself.”
For a week now Bhagwat has been harping on the same theme, first in Odisha and now in Maharashtra. In Cuttack he said, “the cultural identity of all Indians is Hindutva and the present inhabitants of the country are descendants of this great culture.”
And he repeated the old argument that if all citizens of England are English , and Germany are Germans why are not the citizens of Hindustan Hindus?
His remarks have elicited a strong response from the opposition leaders, embarrassed plaintives from Christian members of the BJP, silence from the Muslim BJP members and from the BJP that now has several RSS functionaries as its general secretaries.
Goa's BJP legislator Michael Lobo dismissed RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's assertion of India being a 'Hindu Nation', drawing solace from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on this issue. He said that the PM had not endorsed these comments. He told reporters in Goa, "I don't think the Government of India, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, has consented to that." Lobo said this was Bhagwat’s personal opinion.
Congress leader Digvijay Singh led the Congress attack on the RSS chief saying, “I thought we had one Hitler in the making but it seems now we have two. God save India.” Singh fired this comment off in a tweet.
“This shows the double standards of the government. PM Modi had talked about moratorium on communalism. On the other hand Mohan Bhagwat makes outrageous statements. The government should have a moratorium on the RSS first,” CPM leader Brinda Karat told reporters.
The Janata Dal(U) and Aam Aadmi Party also attacked Bhagwat for these comments. “We are Indians. I think Mohan Bhagwat has little knowledge of Hindu culture,” AAPs Ashutosh said.
JD(U) leader KC Tyagi was clear, “Mohan Bhagwat and his frontal organisations want to disturb the communal harmony in the country and divide people on the basis of religion. People who stayed back in India after 1947 are Indians Hindu faith is different from the Indian nation.”