New Delhi: The RSS may not harm Islam in India, but it will certainly destroy Hinduism, Hindi poet Ashok Vajpeyi said on Thursday.
"Mahatma Gandhi had once said that all religions are true, but they are not perfect. Through this he is saying that each religion can learn from another religion. A nation which is called so diverse which has millions of gods and over 700 languages.
"Now they are saying that you are a traitor. So if I am a traitor let me say something. At present in India, I don't know how Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will harm Islam, but it will certainly destroy Hinduism," he said, delivering a public lecture on the occasion of the Constitution Day at the Gandhi Peace Foundation here.
A vociferous critic of the policies of the Narendra Modi-led central government, Vajpeyi has been under attack by the Sangh parivar for returning his Sahitya Akademi award to protest rising intolerance in the country.
Referring to the recent controversy over the statements made by Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, he said: "There is a difference between the nation and its government. The nation is larger than the government. Protesting against the government doesn't mean one is protesting against the nation."
Intellectuals and activists were present at the gathering to mark 66 years since the country's constitution was adopted, and the present socio-economic political situation, democracy, existing inequalities and right to equality and justice were among the issues taken up. The event was organised by Jan Awaaz, a citizen's platform created to highlight public concerns.
Among others who spoke were Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising, activists Usha Ramanathan and Nikhil Dey and Delhi High Court's former chief justice Rajinder Sachar.