RASHTRIYA Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat has said that Muslims are most happy in India despite following a religion that is “not from here”.
Bhagwat said this in an interview with pro-RSS weekly Vivek. He was answering a question as to how Muslims and Christians could be brought in tune with “our thinking looking to the ideal of Ram temple”.
Bhagwat said, “Which country’s Muslims are happiest? India’s Muslims. Is there any other country where a religion not originating there has remained in power and is still there? There is no other country than India. Despite a bloody history, Muslims are still here, Christians are here. When India was created (jab Hindustan bana), given the kind of atmosphere that existed then, Hindustan could well have said that now there is Pakistan for Muslims and that now the Hindu writ will run here (yahan Hinduonki chalegi). But our Constitution didn’t say this. Our Constitution included all the people. This is our nature (swabhav hai). This swabhav is called Hindu.”
Bhagwat further said, “Our being Hindu is not about to whom we pray. Dharma is that which binds us, lifts us up and holds the society. It is such that when followed one can get both material and spiritual happiness. Whatever may be your way of praying, nationality (rashtriyata) has no relation to puja. We have to see that fundamentalism, which keeps raising its head, shouldn’t get the wind. For that we have to be one nation. We are a nation that has been in existence from that time, we are a Hindu rashtra. All we have to do is give up narrowness and badness. And there are highly-placed, educated and influential Muslims and Christians, who accept this.”
On the question if an agitation would be held in future for Kashi and Mathura temples, Bhagwat said, “We don’t know because we are not the ones to agitate. We didn’t start the Ramjanmabhoomi agitation. It was going on for long in the society. We got attached to it in some specific situation. Agitation is not on our agenda. We are people who bring about change of heart by peacefully imbibing values. I don’t have any idea what Hindu society will do. All I can say is that we will not start the agitation.”
To a question if religion should be a part of education, the RSS chief said, “If I say it should be, then there would be a lot of stir. But if I say there should be no ‘adharm’, then there would be none. Our Constitution makers had so written it as to ensure that while we should progress, we should not affect any other country in that process. And what was before them as ideals? The pictures in the pages of the Constitution make it all clear. So, it is the Sanatan dharma that is seen in today’s format (of Constitution).”
He, however, added: “Dharma is in observing civic discipline and civic responsibility. All children should be taught the provisions in the Constitution about Fundamental Rights and Duties and Directive Principles.”
While stressing “code of social conduct” (achaar vyavastha) that is in tune with the needs of the time, Bhagwat said, “This, however, must be left to religious leaders (dharmacharyas) and mustn’t be interfered with by others.”
“Indian society doesn’t go by holy books. There are many things in books that are out of date. Indian society keeps its faith in books intact but lives without those things. Because words in the books are bound by the conditions of country, time and people. Those things in the books that are out of date should be removed and those that are in tune with our values should be kept. If this is suggested by someone, it can’t be seen as being wrong. But this authority rests with our religious leaders. Others should not interfere in it. They should approach the dharmacharyas with folded hands to request that these changes should be pondered.”