Often under attack for its "exclusionary" agenda, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday said there will be no "Hindu rashtra" without Muslims in India and Hindutva encompasses fraternity and unity in diversity.
Expounding on the Hindutva concept in his second of the three-day lecture series, he said that Hindutva was the basic thought of all communities residing in India.
Bhagwat, speaking at the event "Future of Bharat: An RSS perspective" at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi, also said that the Sangh firmly believed in the Indian Constitution and does not take part in politics.
He spent a large part of his over 80-minute speech expounding on the RSS' adherence to the concept of Hindutva and said unity in diversity, sacrifice, self-control and a spirit of gratitude were defining characteristics of Hindutva.
With the Congress and other parties accusing the RSS of following a divisive agenda and trying to impose uniformity, Bhagwat said there is no Hindutva without minorities being part of the society.
He said political parties follow different ideologies but if the spirit of camaraderie was forgotten, it can lead to difficulties.
"The Sangh works for 'bandhubhav' (fraternity) and for this there is only one basis - unity in diversity. This is our thought process which the world calls as Hindutva and that's why we say we are a Hindu rashtra (nation). It does not mean that we do not need Muslims, this does not work. The day it is said that we do not need Muslims, that day it will not be Hindutva.
"It talks of the world being a family. The day we say only Vedas will be preached and Buddhism should not be followed, then there will be no Hindutva. Because we constantly strive for truth and several religious philosophies came as a result. It is the only thought to give basis to this fraternity. It does not react," he said.
With the Congress accusing the RSS of being an extra-constitutional authority, Bhagwat said: "Constitution is the consensus of all Indians and it is duty of all to follow it.
"And what I have said so far is in accordance with the Constitution. Sangh works after accepting the primacy of the Constitution and we respect it fully."
He said the RSS worked for the country to become capable and rich.
"It should have economic capability, moral capability and strategic capability. It should be full of people with knowledge and humility, it should be egalitarian and free of exploitation."
He said the RSS wanted India to be powerful for the good of the world as people respect truth if there was power behind it.
Bhagwat said the RSS had its views on national issues but it does not interfere in the government's policies and functioning.
Since its inception, he said the RSS had abstained from electoral politics but continued to have its views on issues which affect the country.
"We don't participate in politics, (that) doesn't mean we don't have any views. We do have our views on national policies, we talk about the policies with all our might," said Bhagwat.
"Sangh abstaining from politics doesn't mean we will not talk about infiltrators. These are national issues and they affect the entire country. Sangh gives its views on all such issues," he added.
He rubbished speculation of the RSS influencing the government's functioning.
"Often people make this speculation that a call from Nagpur (RSS headquarters) must be behind a particular decision (of the government). This is all baseless. All those working (in the government) are seniors and they are far more experienced in politics than us," said Bhagwat.
"They don't need Sangh's advice. They neither depend on our advice, nor do we give any. If they need any suggestion, they ask for it, and if we have something to offer, then we give it. But we have no influence on the government's policies. They are our Swayamsevaks, but are capable of doing their job," he added.
He also said the aim of the Sangh was to unite the entire society.
"Since the birth of the Sangh, it has decided to stay away from politics. It will neither contest elections, nor participate in electoral politics. RSS functionaries cannot be office bearers of a political party."