Indian right-wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday said “Hindutva” is the fuel that sustains India, a country whose strength is in diversity, the Hindustan Times reported. “Bharat (India) will exist as long as Hindutva, the country’s essence, exists,” the RSS chief said at a Hindu conference in Guwahati, the largest city of Northeastern Indian state of Assam.
Hindutva, a term popularised by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in 1923, is the predominant form of Hindu nationalism in India. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) adopted it as its official ideology in 1989.
“India’s uniqueness lies in its diversity,” Bhagwat said. “Every Indian has the same feelings despite the diversity. It is India’s tradition to go along with everyone, every community, every religion and every region. India teaches the world through its behaviour and way of life. The world calls it Hindutva.”
He added that Pakistan did not call itself “Bharat” because the word had a “Hindutva flavour.” “Ancient Indian civilisations prospered in present day Pakistan, which did not name itself Bharat because the Bharat word radiates Hindutva,” he said, claiming that Pakistan, unlike India, did not forget its enmity with its neighbour on August 15, 1947.
Bhagwat also urged parents in the North Eastern states to send their children to RSS camps. “Mere sympathising with the Sangh will not do,” he said. “Mothers have to send their sons to the Sangh’s brunches so they can learn our vision.”
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, a few state ministers and 20 tribal kings, tribal chieftains and religious heads attended the event.
Former Assam Chief Minister and Congress leader Tarun Gogoi said the RSS program was aimed at spreading the “communal politics” of the BJP.