Amidst massive uproar within Congress leaders over former President and Congress veteran Pranab Mukherjee's visit to RSS annual event including severe criticism from his own daughter, Pranab Dada has finally attended the do and delivered an impressive speech that wins both Congress and RSS.
In his long speech, Pranab Mukherjee cautioned that any attempt to define India through "religion, dogma or intolerance" will only dilute the country's existence. 82-year-old Pranab said intolerance will only dilute India' national identity and Indian nationalism emanated from universalism, assimilation and co-existence.
"I am here to share my understanding on nation, nationalism and patriotism about our country which is 'Bharat'. In India, we derive our strength from tolerance, and respect our pluralism. We celebrate our diversity," said Pranab, who served as the President of India between 2012 and 2017. "We must free our public discourse from all kinds of fear and violence" he said.
Hegdewar is Great Son of Mother India : Pranab
Pranab described RSS founder Baliram Hedgewar as a "great son of Mother India'. "Today I came here to pay my respect and homage to a great son of Mother India," Pranab Mukherjee wrote in the visitor's book at Baliram Hedgewar's birthplace before his much-awaited speech at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur.
No One is Outsider For RSS : Mohan Bagwat
Earlier, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said the debate over Mukherjee's decision to attend the RSS event was "meaningless" and no one is an outsider for his organisation. Bhagwat said Mukherjee will remain what he is and the Sangh will remain the Sangh even after the event.
Bhagwat said his organisation wants to unify the entire society and no one was an outsider for it. People may have different views but they are all children of mother India, he said.
Bhagwat said the Sangh is inviting prominent people to its event every year. Those present at the event also included former prime minister Lal Bahadu Shastri's son Sunil Shastri, as also Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's nephew Ardhendu Bose along with his wife and son.
While the Sangh is often described as a Hindu right-wing organisation, it calls itself a nationalist and cultural organisation rather than a political or religious one. It was founded by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar , on September 27, 1925 on Vijayadashami day at his house in Nagpur.