NEW DELHI, September 17:

India’s diversity must be respected, celebrated and it should not be a reason for any discord in society, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat said Monday, launching an unprecedented  outreach to make the organisation better understood.

On the first day of the three-day conclave “Bhavishya Ka Bharat — An RSS Perspective”, he elaborated on evolution of the RSS, which he said cannot be compared to any other organisation.

Almost all major opposition parties gave the conclave a miss though the RSS had invited them. However, many leaders of the ruling BJP were present, as were many Bollywood actors, artists and academicians.

“India is a country full of diversity and it must be respected and celebrated,” he said, adding that it should not become a reason for “discord” in the society.

The outreach comes at a time when the Congress-led opposition has been ramping up attacks on the RSS, accusing it of promoting divisive ideology and attacking minorities.

In his around 80-minute speech, Bhagwat spoke on a variety of issues, including the freedom movement, and acknowledged the role of the Congress, which has been among the organisation’s biggest critics.

“Congress played a big role in freedom movement and gave India many great personalities,” he said.

Speaking about the holding of the event in the national capital, he said the organisation wanted people to understand its functioning as the work it does is “incomparable”.

The main aim of the RSS is reforming the society by riding it of its ills, he said, claiming that an RSS worker considers the entire society as his own.

The venue of the event is Vigyan Bhavan, where usually major government events are held.

The aim of the three-day conclave is to engage with a cross section of people and present its perspective on future of the country.

Bhagwat said the event was being organised so that people could understand the organisation.