National Commission for Minorities chairman Tarlochan Singh on Saturday sang paeans to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Addressing a condolence meeting for late RSS chief Rajendra Singh, popularly known as Rajju Bhaiyya, he said, "The RSS and Sikhs have always fought shoulder to shoulder. Sikhs can never forget how RSS activists protected them during the partition and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots."
He also recalled that at the height of the agitation for a separate Punjab state, it was the RSS that had asked the Hindus to treat Punjabi as their mother tongue.
Several Christian organisations in the recent past have been critical of the NCM chairman's 'soft' corner for Sangh Parivar outfits.
Lauding the simplicity and patriotism of Rajju Bhaiyya, noted Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan said, "He was a source of inspiration for us. We need more Rajju Bhaiyyas in the country."
Former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad chief Ashok Singhal, RSS ideologue Nanaji Deshmukh, Jan Sangh president Balraj Madhok and Sadhvi Rithambhara also addressed the gathering and paid floral tributes before the urn containing the ashes of the late leader.