Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday stressed on the need to unify India and make it a country free of social discrimination, and asked all citizens of the country to embrace each other.
Bhagwat's comments came at a time when violence on caste lines marred a celebration of Dalit groups in Maharashtra. The protests in Pune later spilled over to other parts of the state.
"We will have to accept all as we devote ourselves to the service of the motherland. We will have to free ourselves of all kinds of discrimination: mine-yours, higher-lower. We will have to treat everyone as equal," he said at a programme after unveiling a 16-feet statue of Bharat Mata at a temple here.
He urged all citizens to live together in harmony like "brothers and sisters". "Where harmony resides, anger fades".
"We should always devote ourselves to Bharat Mata's 'akhand' form," he added.
Bhagwat said: "We consider the whole world as one family.
We see God inside us and everywhere. The fundamental idea of India is based on this philosophy."
He said the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) founder C N Annadurai once considered Tamil Nadu as a "separate country", which had "nothing to do" with India.
However, when China attacked India in 1962, Annadurai said that when the country is in danger, advocating separatism would be to give way to a foreign power, he said.
"Who taught this to Annadurai? It is the soil of India which has sowed seed of patriotism in every citizen," Bhagwat said.