‘Not Unity in Diversity, But Diversity in Unity’: RSS Chief Defines India’s Secular Character – News18

The RSS chief was speaking at the launch event of Ranga Hari’s book ‘Prithvi Sookta: An Ode to Mother Earth’ in New Delhi on Wednesday. (File photo/Reuters)

At a book launch event in Delhi, Mohan Bhagwat also reminisced about a meeting with late President Pranab Mukherjee, who told him that India did not need a ‘lecture from the world on pluralism and secularism’

India is not about “unity in diversity, but diversity in unity”, and that is why the G20 theme of Bharat was “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (the world is one family), said RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat while addressing a programme in Delhi on October 11. Explaining India’s secular character, Bhagwat referred to one of his meetings with late President Pranab Mukherjee. He narrated how Mukherjee reacted to the ruckus over “Ghar Wapsi” in Parliament and said that India did not need a “lecture from the world on pluralism and secularism”.

“I used to meet Pranab da often, and every time I got an opportunity to talk to him, I learnt from him. Once I sought an appointment with him. He was unwell. I requested 10 minutes. It was the time when there was a ruckus happening in Parliament over Ghar Wapsi. I went to meet him prepared as fingers were pointed at us, the RSS, for Ghar Wapsi,” said Bhagwat. “But to my surprise, he said that we did not need to hear lectures from the world about pluralism. We were always secular, not because our constitution was secular and also not because the architects of the constitution were secular. We are secular because we were traditionally and culturally secular, even 5,000 years ago. Secularism is inside us. The meeting lasted for over an hour.”

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief was speaking at the launch event of Ranga Hari’s book ‘Prithvi Sookta: An Ode to Mother Earth’ in New Delhi on Wednesday. Bhagwat added that Indians should have a feeling of devotion, love, dedication, and sacrifice towards the motherland. “Nationalism is an ideal for us. But to the international community, nationalism is something else. They feel scared of this word. They associate Hitler with the word nationalism. But Bharat and Bharat’s ideal, the people, are so different,” he said.

He said, “The founding principle of our motherland is that the world is one big family. This is not a theory but a fact with experience. Our forefathers have experienced this.”

This is the reason that an international forum and platform like G20, which is generally a financial forum, turned into a platform of humanity with a humane touch, said Bhagwat. “Bharat has always been like this. The reason for unity in the USA is always about their financial stability. That is why their policies always revolve around financial issues. For the Arab world, it has been about religion. But for us, it is our humanity or human approach,” he said.

The programme was also attended by Arif Mohammad Khan, governor of Kerala. Khan also stressed on this and said that the biggest ideal of India is unity. After the knowledge of Oneness, the difference between God and soul disappears, he added.

The book launch event was organised by Prajna Pravah, the publication and research wing of the RSS.