Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Saturday said the happiest Muslims in the world were in India because of the “Hindu culture”, The Hindu reported. Bhagwat claimed that Hinduism accepted and respected diverse cultures and that other countries came to India to search for the truth when they went off the correct path.

“When Jews were wandering, India was the only nation where they got shelter,” he said at an event of the Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal in Bhubaneshwar. “The Parsis practise their religion freely only in India. The happiest Muslims are found in India. Why is it so? Because we are Hindus.”

The RSS chief said many Indians were ashamed to declare their Hindu identity, some were proud of it, some get annoyed by its repeated utterance. He added that some of them were cautious about their Hindu identity and only revealed it in secret as their “interest are affected”.

Bhagwat claimed that the RSS did not hate anyone and that it sought to change the society as a whole, not just Hindus. He said people should unite to build a better society that can bring about change and development.

“It is our wish that the RSS label is removed and RSS and the society work as a single group,” he said, according to PTI. He also said that citizens of the country believe they are one despite the diversity. “Because of this unique feeling of oneness, people belonging to different faiths such as Muslims, Parsis and others feel safe in the country.”

The RSS chief said that individuals with clean characters and leadership abilities should be groomed to take lead in every street, village and town in order to trigger change in the society.

On October 8, Bhagwat had said certain episodes of “social violence” were called lynching to defame the country and the Hindu society and cause fear among a few communities. He had said it was a western concept that does not apply to India.

Several Opposition leaders had criticised Bhagwat’s remarks with the Congress calling it shocking and insensitive. All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi had said that the concept of a Hindu rashtra was a “flight of fantasy borne out of insecurities”.

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