Courting controversy: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat says all Hindustanis are Hindus
NEW DELHI: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday received
flak from non-BJP parties for his suggestion that all Hindustanis are Hindus
with many leaders wondering if he has read the Constitution and really believes
Congress leader Manish Tewari said Bhagwat would be
well-advised to read the Constitution which very specifically states that India
is Bharat, a union of state, and the word “Hindustan” is nowhere mentioned.
Sitaram Yechury of CPI (M) said Bhagwat should make it
clear if he believes in Constitution. “He should make it clear if he believes
in it. In our Constitution, the country is Bharat not Hindustan,” he told
JD (U) President Sharad Yadav said India has come so
far since Independence by keeping its faith in the Constitution and its future
lies in following the same course. BSP chief and former Uttar Pradesh Chief
Minister Mayawati while slamming Bhagwat said he does not have “proper
knowledge” of the Constitution.
“When Ambedkar ji (Bhimrao Ambedkar) wrote the
Constitution he kept in mind that our country comprises various religions and
people follow them. So the name Bharat was given, the word Hindustan was not used.
The RSS chief does not have proper knowledge of the Constitution. He should
learn that and then comment,” she said.
Father Savrimuthu of Archdiocese of Delhi expressed
concern over Bhagwat’s comments, saying India is a pluralistic country but the
RSS head has tried to put everybody under one umbrella. “Our nation is great
and known for unity and diversity… Now you (RSS) are trying to make one nation,
one religion, one culture, trying to put everybody under one umbrella which is
not right,” he said.
Seeking to downplay the row over Bhagwat’s comments,
BJP leader Vinay Katiyar said, “what he (Bhagwat) meant by ‘Hindu’ was
‘Hindustani’. He never spoke about interfering in religious practices of
Bhagwat on Sunday asked if inhabitants of England are
English, Germany are Germans and the USA are Americans then why all inhabitants
of Hindustan are not known as Hindus.
“The cultural identity of all Indians is Hindutva and
the present inhabitants of the country are descendants of this great culture,”
Bhagwat said while speaking at the ‘Golden Jubilee’ function of an Odia weekly
The RSS chief further went on to say that Hindutva is
a way of life and Hindus could be of any religion worshiping any God or not
worshiping at all.