Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Saturday claimed Muslims in India are the “most content in the world”, PTI reported. Bhagwat said this was because India, whose “inherent nature was Hindu”, had created a safe space for the members of the minority community.

The RSS chief wondered if there was any other example in the world, wherein a “foreign religion” that ruled over a country continues to exists there, even after their rule ended. He was making an indirect reference to the Mughal empire. “Nowhere. It is only in India,” he said in an interview to Vivek, a Hindi magazine based in Maharashtra. “Most content Muslims are only in India.”

His comments came days after the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights cautioned India against targeting religious minorities in the country, particularly Muslims.

Bhagwat claimed that many Muslims had fought in Mewar king Maharana Pratap’s army against Mughal emperor Akbar, adding that India’s history was testament to how people from all faiths stood together whenever there was “an attack on the country’s culture”.

He also criticised Pakistan and said that unlike India, Islamabad did not give any rights to followers of any other religion but Islam as it chose to identify itself as a Muslim country. “Our Constitution did not say that only Hindus can stay here; hereafter only Hindus will be heard here; if you want to stay here, then you have to accept the superiority of Hindus,” Bhagwat added. “We created a space for them. This is the nature of our nation, and that inherent nature is called Hindu.”

The head of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, said that the Hindu identity has nothing to do with an individual’s choice of worship. “Religion should be connecting, uplifting, uniting everyone in one single thread,” he said. “Whenever the devotion for India and its culture awakens and feeling of pride arises for the ancestors, the distinctions between all religions disappear and people from all faiths stand together.”

On the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Bhagwat said it is not meant for mere “ritualistic purpose”, but is a symbol of national values and character. The 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya was claimed by both Hindus and Muslims. In November last year, the Supreme Court permitted the construction of the temple and directed the government to acquire an alternative plot of land to build a mosque.