Mumbai: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday asked people to read a book on 'Vande Mataram', saying these two words have inspired the country for the last 140 years.
Bhagwat was speaking at a public gathering here today evening, after releasing two volumes of 'Samagra Vande Mataram' which dwell on Bankim Chandra Chatterjee's famous work.
"We should definitely read this book. At home, we generally keep the Bhagwad Gita. We don't read it, but we keep it," Bhagwat said.
"People keep it at their homes even if they don't read it. Similarly this tome should also be kept at home and read daily," the RSS chief said.
"Vande Mataram is not just two words, but a mantra which was on the lips of freedom fighters who went to the gallows," Bhagwat said.
"If you think you cannot read, no issues. You may still keep it. May be young people in your home will read it," he said.
"Vande mataram is a word which denotes the language of every Indian's heart. That is why everyone understands it," he said.
India is not just a line on the global map but the name of a "characteristic", Bhagwat said.
"There is unity in diversity. India says all can stay together despite being a varied lot," he said.
Earlier, there were 33 crore gods and goddesses and many more keep getting added, he said.
Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao said it was unfortunate that some people in the country make adverse comments about Vande Mataram.
Bankim Chandra's descendant Shantanu Chattopadhyay who came from Kolkata was honoured on the occasion.