Former Supreme Court Justice KT Thomas has said that besides the Constitution, democracy and the Army, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was keeping people safe in the country, The Indian Express reported on Thursday.

“If asked why people are safe in India, I would say that there is a Constitution in the country, there is democracy, there are the armed forces, and fourthly the RSS is there,” he said at an RSS instructors’ training camp in Kerala’s Kottayam district on Sunday.

Thomas praised the organisation for physically training its cadets to “defend the country and the society at the time of attacks.” He also credited it for ending the Emergency. “The RSS’ strong and well-organised work against the Emergency had reached then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi,” Thomas said, according to the newspaper. “She understood that it could not go [on for] long.”

Minorities in India use secularism for their protection, but the concept of secularism is more than just that, he said. Secularism is not meant to protect religion, but it means the dignity of every individual should be protected, Thomas added.

“In India, the word Hindu evokes a religion, but it should be a substitute for a culture. That was why the word Hindustan is being used,” The Indian Express quoted Thomas as saying. “In the past, Hindustan had inspired everyone, now that word has been set apart for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party.”

He also questioned the setting up of a commission for minorities. “Minorities feel insecure only when they start demanding rights which the majority segments don’t have,” he added.