Only Constitution can be secular, not people: RSS

Only Constitution can be secular, not people: RSS

Only Constitution can be secular, not people: RSS

A day after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comment that India is a country of Hindus drew sharp reactions, the Sangh Parivar added to the controversy by saying that the Constitution and administration can be secular but not the people  who follow different religions.

While clarifying on Bhagwat’s statement at Mumbai, RSS spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya said the Sangh always maintained this view and it was not a new statement.  “Constitution and administration can be secular but people can’t, since every person practices some religion or the other,” Vaidya said.

He further said that people protesting against Bhagwat’s statement don’t understand Hindutva.

Bhagwat has made similar statements on two occasions. The latest one in Mumbai on Sunday invited sharp reactions from political parties which said the RSS is drumming up the Hindutva bogey due to the encouragement by the friendly government at the Centre.

Taking a dig at Bhagwat and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Digvijay Singh tweeted: “I thought we had one Hitler in the making but it seems now we have two! God save India!”

Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said Sangh’s move to equate Hinduism with Hindutva was “belittling” the philosophy and richness of Hinduism.

BJP leaders, however, opined that such comments from Sangh Parivar will cloud Modi government’s intention of focusing on development, witnessed in his address to the nation on Independence Day where he appealed to the people to observe moratorium on all forms of violence, be it related to caste, communal and regional, for a decade.

In what is being interpreted as a strategy to consolidate Dalits ahead of four Assembly elections, including in Haryana and Maharashtra, Bhagwat also said in Mumbai: “For the next five years, we have to work with the aim of bringing equality among all the Hindus in the country. All Hindus should be drinking water at one place, should be praying at one place and after their death, their bodies should be burnt at the same place.”