Amid the debate on rising intolerance in the country, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said that "Hinduness" is not about what one should wear or eat, but accepting people as they are.
In a rare meeting with a group of diplomats from 50 countries in New Delhi on Tuesday, Bhagwat further said, "Hinduness is the ever-changing quality of Hinduism," reported Economic Times, quoting a source present in the meeting.
Bhagwat's comments come following criticism faced by Right-wing Hindutva outfits over attacks on religious minorities. They also assume significance a week after senior journalist Gauri Lankesh was murdered, and many suspecting she may have been targeted for her outspoken views and ideology.
After the murder, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had even blamed the Sangh ideology, saying, "Anybody who speaks against the ideology of the BJP-RSS is pressured, beaten, attacked and even killed."
At the Tuesday's meeting organised by BJP general secretary Ram Madhav's India Foundation, Bhagwat clarified that RSS and BJP are two distinct organisations and neither controls the other.
Sangh doesn't run BJP; BJP doesn't run Sangh.As Swayamsevaks v consult n exchange notes bt independent in functioning-Bhagwatji to diplomats pic.twitter.com/sRcZON9UfZ
— Ram Madhav (@rammadhavbjp) September 12, 2017
The RSS chief added that the Sangh and BJP sometimes have a common agenda, but that is natural and not engineered, the Economic Times further added.
While answering diplomats' questions about RSS, Bhagwat said the organisation has 1.7 lakh social projects that work to alleviate poverty, and also invited them to see the work that the organisation is doing, reported NDTV. Bhagwat said RSS swayamsevaks are even free to join any political party.
Updated Date: Sep 13, 2017 15:25 PM