It was in basic character of a Hindu to be patriotic: RSS chief

Bhagwat says for Gandhiji his dharma and patriotism were not different as love for motherland originated from his spirituality

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat said on Friday that it was in the basic character and nature of a Hindu to be patriotic and that the love of his motherland flowed from his/her dharma or spiritual and religious beliefs, something even Mahatma Gandhi spoke of in his writings.

Mr. Bhagwat was speaking at an event to release the book, “Making of a Hindu Patriot: Background of Gandhiji’s Hind Swaraj”, authored by J.K. Bajaj and M.D. Srinivas.

Describing the book as an authentic scholarly research document on Gandhiji, Mr. Bhagwat said Gandhiji suggested that for him, his dharma and patriotism were not different as love for his motherland originated from his spirituality.

“Gandhiji had said that his patriotism originates from his dharma,” Mr. Bhagwat said, asserting that dharma not merely meant religion it was wider than religion.

“If someone is Hindu he has to be patriotic, that will be his or her basic character and nature. At times you may have to awaken his or her patriotism but he [Hindu] can never be anti-India. But we have to be conscious of the fact that if one loves his country that doesn’t mean land only, it means its people, rivers, culture, traditions and everything,” he said.

Underlining that Hinduism believes in the existence of unity, “Difference does not mean separatism and Gandhiji has suggested that Hinduism is the religion of all religions,” he said.

Releasing the book, Mr. Bhagwat categorically said there was no need for speculation that Sangh “is trying to appropriate Gandhiji, that is not the case, no one can appropriate great personalities like him.”

Talking about Gandhiji’s Swarajya, Mr. Bhagwat said by it he meant not only changing rulers or becoming self govern, for him [Gandhiji] the struggle for Swaraj was the reconstruction of society based on civilisational values.

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