Indore: Amid a raging debate over 'growing intolerance' in the country, RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi said here today that one should have "respect" for all religions and there is need to "adopt" principles of non-violence.
"Diversities are there in different religions, but people are free to choose their own religion and follow religious practices. However, we should become someone, who has respect for all religions," Joshi said here.
He was addressing the inaugural session of the International Dharma-Dhamma Conference on the topic 'Manav Kalyan ke Liye Dharma' (religion for the welfare of human beings).
"Indian intellectuals have said that God can be reached through various ways. Therefore, we should have the same perspective and respect for all religions as only that will lead to universal development. We should put forward this viewpoint with full might before the world," the RSS office-bearer said.
Joshi also emphasised the need to differentiate between religion and sect.
"There is a huge confusion in the world about the meaning of religion and sect. Both are different concepts. Religion teaches us how to fulfil our duties and our rights are incorporated in it.
"However, when human beings start discriminating between religion and sect, they tend to forget religion in the process, which leads to empowerment of sects...We should adopt principles of non-violence in our behaviour so that we should not hurt anyone with our words and deeds," Joshi said.
Explaining the concept of Hindu, he said it is a wider term encompassing Indian intellectuals and thinkers. "People should not have any problem in accepting it and they should accept it with an open heart by coming out of their narrow-mindedness," Joshi said.
There is a need to change this perception that the term 'Hindu' is associated with any particular sect, he said, adding if a feeling of mutual trust, cooperation, agreement and self help exists between human beings, then the reasons for struggle and disputes among them disappear.
"It might be possible that there is disagreement between human beings on some issues. But for the welfare of mankind it is necessary to focus on those things, where there is an agreement and we should talk about moving together by focusing on them," he said.