RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday said Mahatma Gandhi had called himself a "hardcore Sanatani Hindu" who stuck to his faith and respected other faiths as well, and asked if anyone in present times would atone like Gandhi if their agitation goes wrong and creates law and order problem. Gandhi's ideals were purely Indian, therefore, he never shied from showing his Hindu credentials, Bhagwat said, asserting that India of Gandhi's dreams is now being realised.
"Gandhiji at times said that he is a hardcore Sanatani Hindu and since he is hardcore Sanatani Hindu, he doesn't distinguish between the different ways to worship God. Therefore he stuck to his faith and suggested respect for other faiths as well," the RSS chief said at the unveiling of a book on Gandhi.
Bhagwat said Gandhi had the quality of atoning for his mistakes.
"If his experiments or his agitations digressed from their path, he would do penance. If (in current times) something goes wrong during an agitation or it creates law and order disturbance, is there someone to atone for it," he said, adding those who are in the front of protests usually pay the price as they are killed or jailed.
"But for those who are behind (such agitations), it is only a matter of winning or losing," Bhagwat said.
His remarks come in the backdrop of violence during protests against the amended citizenship law in several parts of the country.
Bhagwat said he has full faith in the present generation that it will give shape to "India of Gandhi's dreams".
Perhaps 20 years from now, Bhagwat said, "we would be in a position to say that India of Gandhiji's dreams has been created."
Describing Gandhi as a "saint", the RSS chief said he was the voice of India in his times and always emphasised on development which centred around human beings.
Gandhi always looked at India from Indian perspective, and others too shared the same thought process, Bhagwat said while referring to RSS founder KB Hedgewar.
Bhagwat was speaking after releasing the book 'Gandhi ko samajhney ka yahi samay (It's time to understand Gandhi) at 'Gandhi Smriti' memorial.