Hindus need to unite as the responsibility of India is on them, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat said on Sunday.

“Say with pride that you are a Hindu,” Bhagwat told RSS workers at a gathering in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. “As Hindus, we have to unite because the responsibility of this country is upon us...From ancient times, it [India] has been our home. If anything wrong happens with this country, we will be responsible.”

Bhagwat made the comments at the 25th Swayamsevak Samagam, known as “Rashtryoday” – a gathering of RSS workers from 14 districts of West Uttar Pradesh. At least three lakh workers attended the event this year, which is the highest number of registrations for the gathering in recent years, according to The Indian Express.

The RSS chief said Hindus always celebrated diversity, and that the Hindus’ “roadblock to being united is that we are fighting on the lines of caste”.

All Hindus are brothers, he said. “Those who believe in Bharat Mata and her culture and are progeny of India’s forefathers are Hindus,” Bhagwat said. “There are Hindus in this country who do not know they are Hindus.”

The RSS chief also claimed that some “forces were taking advantage” of the “divisions in society over caste and violence”, the Hindustan Times reported.

Bhagwat told RSS workers that hardline Hindutva was about “commitment to truth and Ahimsa”, and that when workers become hardliners, they “will celebrate diversity more”. He said the world only listened to “good things when there is a power standing behind them”.