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Home > News > PTI

Sikhism part of 'great Hindu samaj': RSS

May 02, 2007 15:38 IST

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The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh has described the Sikh faith as a separate religion belonging to 'one great Hindu samaj'.

In a view that may not go well with Bharatiya Janata Party's ally Akali Dal, the Sangh says it sees a 'problem' if minorities assume a 'political' character.

Spelling out its stand on minorities on its website under a mission header, it says it believes the Hindu Code Bill is applicable to Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists and that it should be applicable to all, including the Christians and the Muslims.

"The RSS believes in the plural structure of society. Therefore, it recognizes that there is bound to be a majority-minority syndrome, and hence each group, whether in the majority or minority, will have a distinct identity and distinct character," it says.

But minorities, according to the Sangh, should restrain themselves from overstepping their 'basic character'.

"...the majority-minority distinctions must be restricted to the bases on which the minority character is sought to be claimed...the problem arises when a particular minority transgresses the basis of its minority character and assumes a political one," it says.

In its stand on Sikhism, the Sangh has called it a separate religion but its followers part of Hindu samaj.

"We regard the Sikh religion as a separate religion, but we regard the Sikh people as belonging to our samaj. When we say that they are a part of the one great Hindu Samaj, we do not deny the existence of their separate religion and separate beliefs. The Hindu samaj is a commonwealth of many religions," it says.

The samaj, it adds, includes idol worshippers as well as those who oppose idol worship and those who accept the authority of the Vedas as well as those who do not.

They are all included in the wider Hindu conceptualisation, the Sangh says.

"Many Sikhs attend RSS Shakhas, but nobody is asked to remove his beard or his turban. The RSS will never try to obliterate the identity of the Sikhs. That will be against the very grain of the RSS," it says.

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