Union Minister Ramdas Athawale hit out at Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Mohan Bhagwat for stating that all Indians are Hindus.
Reacting to the RSS chief’s remark that he considers the “entire 130 crore population of India as Hindu society”, Athawale said on December 26 that all Indians were Buddhists until the advent of Hinduism in India. He added, the Buddhists converted to Hinduism thereafter.
Speaking to the media, he said: “Not right to say all are Hindus. There was a time when everyone was a Buddhist in our country. When Hinduism came, we became a Hindu nation. If he means everyone is ours, then it’s fine.”
As per Mohan Bhagwat, the Sangh regards India as a Hindu society in its entirety, regardless of the varying religion and culture of the people.
He had said: “Irrespective of religion and culture, people who have the nationalistic spirit and respect the culture of the country and its heritage are Hindus, and RSS considers the 130 crore people of the country as Hindus. The entire society is ours and the Sangh aims to build such a united society.”
Bhagwat’s speech gained the ire of Asaduddin Owaisi also, the leader of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). Slamming the remarks, he has pointed out that no one religion can be the basis of India, as laid down by the Constitution.
“Mohan Bhagwat may not have read the Indian Constitution. There is a Right to Equality and a Right to Life. These celebrate India’s pluralistic, diverse society. Why are there Articles 26, 29, and 30? Because this country does not align itself with any particular religion. But, RSS wants otherwise. However, that will not be possible until the time the Constitution made by BR Ambedkar exists. This land believes in all religions,” he said.
Meanwhile, it may be worth noting that the roots of Hinduism go back to more than 4,000 years
, as per History.com whereas Gautam Buddha was believed to have lived
between 563 B.C. and 483 B.C.