Nagaland BJP president and cabinet minister Temjen Imna Along Longkumer said that all tribes and communities living in India are sanathan (ancient).
Longkumer who is on a visit to Shillong to attend the U Tirot Sing Best Student Award 2022 programme was speaking to reporters on the recent remarks made by RRS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Shillong that “all Indians are Hindus”.
“We should not be afraid of who we are traditionally. All living in this country are ‘sanathan’. But today we have many faiths Christians, Muslims, Buddhist. So to describe the wholeness of Hinduism it would lead to clash of egos of different faiths. He (Mohan Bhagwat) refers to our culture, our traditions from the past. Whether it is the Khasis, the Nagas or whether it is anybody from this country we all have followed the patterns which are from the past ‘sanathan’. So you can describe it in whichever way you want,” Longkumer said,
When asked if he agreed with the remarks made by Bhagwat, Longkumer gave a guarded reply.
“If I say that I agree it would be trouble and if I say I don’t agree also is not right. You have to understand the context with which it has been said. We are all one as Indians,” he said.
Longkumer added, “Bhagwat is referring to the traditions and culture of the life we are living. Are you a Christian? I am a Christian too. But then in the context of our traditions, how will you describe Hinduism? It is too vast a subject. We are referring to the root of being an Indian.”
When asked if the RSS chief’s remarks would affect polls prospects for BJP in Meghalaya and other tribal states of North East, Longkumer said that the party would not be affected at all since no religious conversion was happening.
“No Hindus are converted to Christianity, no Christianity converted to Hinduism. Why do the media always want to bring up issues of religion? The press should be wise and always promote harmony national, tribal, caste and religious harmony. Whatever faith we practice, we are all Indians,” he said.