While addressing a seminar on ‘Identity and Integration’ on August 2, organised to mark the 50th anniversary of UK-based charity Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat told the audience that Hinduism does not allow forceful conversion by any means.
“After contemplating any philosophy or any religion, if one of his own will and wish decides to convert to it…Our tradition says every individual can independently decide what his faith should be. But using other means and converting people by lure or some other means, that is aggression on individual rights and that should not be allowed,” he said to PTI.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh “Sarsanghchalak” was addressing a seminar on ‘Identity and Integration’, organised to mark the 50th anniversary of UK-based charity Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), in London last evening.
Bhagwat mentioned, “Hinduism is a sanskriti and not a religion” and also “Hindu is a tradition” that believes in “accepting, respecting and celebrating” numerous identities.
“We have no problem with identities; we can live as an integrated society, humanity and universe. It has been achieved and lived by common people and can be found anywhere Hindus live. Hindu identity says diversity is to be celebrated,” he said to PTI.
“Unity in diversity” was the central mantra of Hinduism and Bhagwat mentioned verses from the Atharva Veda, a Hindu text, to show that diversity existed even in ancient times.
“Despite our history, we don’t treat anyone like a foreigner…Only politics sometimes disrupts all this. But these are ripples and then we revert to normalcy because it is in our blood,” he said to PTI.
“Ultimately we are all human beings, all ‘atmans’ (soul). We respect and accept everyone’s identity but have an eye on the underlying unity. That example has been created by Hindu society anywhere in the world and can resolve all conflict,” he added further.
The 65-year-old RSS leader was in the UK and was invited as the chief guest of HSS UK’s Mahashibir 2016, which concluded over the weekend. He was surrounded by heavy security presence at the Navnat Centre in the south London.
The seminar on August 2, concluded his UK tour and included panellists like Dr Girdharilal Bhan, former national president of VHP, Samani Pratibha Pragya, head nun of Jain Vishva Bharati London, and Gauri Das, managing director of Bhaktivedanta Manor ISKCON UK.
While focussing on the Hindu diaspora in the UK, Bhagwat said, “Hindus don’t insist call yourself Hindu. But the values are all the same…We all believe in the unity of existence and doing Sewa (service). Don’t fight among each other, stay united and work for the world’s good, mentioned the PTI report.