It is not right to say that all Indians are Hindus, said Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Thursday, while reacting to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statement that ‘130 crore population of India is a Hindu society.’
“It is not right to say that all Indians are Hindus. There was a time when everyone was a Buddhist in our country. If Mohan Bhagwat means everyone is an Indian, then it is good. In our country, people are from Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Christian, Parsi, Jain, Lingayat faiths and different communities live here.
RSS chief Bhagwat said that India has traditionally been ‘Hindutvawadi’ and that the Sangh regards the 130 crore population of the country as ‘Hindu society’ irrespective of the diversity of religion and culture here.”When the RSS calls someone a Hindu, then it means those people who consider India as their motherland and love it. The son of mother India, irrespective of what language he speaks, which religion he practices, whether he follows any form of worship or not, is a Hindu,” Bhagwat had said while addressing a gathering at the three-day programme of RSS in Hyderabad.
Athawale, however, went on to back outgoing Army chief General Bipin Rawat over his statement that leaders should not take the people towards the path of violence while protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
“The Army Chief Bipin Rawat’s statement is right that our leaders should not take the people to the path of violence. I request all the protestors to keep their demands before the government but in a peaceful manner. The CAA is not anti-Muslim in nature,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, referring to anti-CAA protests, said that leaders are not those who spearhead people in ‘inappropriate directions’ and stressed that leading masses and crowds to carry out arson and violence in cities and towns is not leadership.