"The party started by 11 people has become a family of 11 crore members. This has happened due to the sacrifices made by thousands of party workers," Shah told a gathering of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists at a function here to mark its foundation day.
"Nationalism is the identity of our party and our three generations have maintained it by their sacrifices. Now it is our responsibility to protect, preserve and carry on this identity," he asserted.
Shah started and ended his speech with the slogan "Bharat Mata ki Jai".
The party chief said the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the BJP's predecessor, and the BJP were founded to provide an optional political ideology to the country.
"After (Jawaharlal) Nehru became prime minister, his Western-oriented policies and decisions compelled nationalistic forces to pave the way for founding the Jana Sangh. If we had followed Nehru's policies, we would have gone on the wrong path," he said.
Describing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the world's most popular leader, Shah urged party workers to take the central government's policies and programmes to the people.
"No doubt, Narendra bhai is the world's most popular leader. For the first time there is a government at the centre which is making policies and taking decisions by keeping the poor and deprived (in mind)," he said.(IANS)