Senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar on Thursday said protests against the new citizenship law at Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) sent a wrong message to the world and the protesters should have had the humility to accept persecuted minorities from a neighbouring country.
In an hour-long speech peppered with phrases from the Quran, Kumar said the holy book talks about "accepting everyone and loving everyone" and this is what Prime Minister Narendra Modi means by "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas".
"The protests sent a message to the world that we are not bothered about the prosecution of minorities," he said, addressing a seminar on a book titled "Modi@20 Dreams Meet Delivery" at Jamia.
"Persecuted minorities from 26 nations live in India. But when we thought of giving refuge to minorities from a nation which was a part of our country in the past you should have had the humility to accept them," Kumar said.
The RSS leader said Modi wants to bring everyone into the mainstream and his government's schemes are for the welfare of 'Hindustanis' and not for any particular community, caste and religion.
"Religion does not unite us, our nation does. Our identity is our nationality. We are Bharatiya. And the Quran also says nation comes before religion," he added.
As Kumar addressed the event, some students protested against him at gate number 7 of the university, calling him a "hatemonger".
The RSS leader said his friends had warned him against going to JMI.
"But I told them that I love those who hate me and abuse me. Therefore, I will definitely go," he added.
Kumar said some people hate him because they have never met or understood him.
He claimed hundreds of Muslims prayed for him outside the CBI office when he was interrogated "in the name of saffron terror" under the Congress rule in December 2010.
"You should also know that four cases were registered in connection with the blasts at the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, Ajmer Dargah in Rajasthan, Malegaon in Maharashtra and in Samjhauta Express. My name did not figure in any FIR, neither as an accused nor a witness," he added.
At the protest site, Jamia student and AISA activist Shoaib said, "Hatemongers like Indresh Kumar must be resisted with all student might...The university administration must stop giving the space of a democratic university like Jamia to hatemongers."
Protesting students were seen holding placards that read: "Let us Explain on what parameter Indresh is honoured in Jamia" and "Stop Inviting Hatemonger in Jamia".
Several student groups, including the Fraternity Movement, Students Islamic Organisation of India, All India Students Association, All India Revolutionary Students Organisation, Campus Front of India and the Dayar-e-Shauq Student Charter, joined the protest.