As a guest what Pranab Mukherjee ji said should be discussed and highlighted, not unwarranted formalities: Randeep Surjewala,Congress on Dr Pranab Mukherjee hailing KB Hedgewar as 'great son of Mother India' pic.twitter.com/MDgMcQPFUv— ANI (@ANI) June 7, 2018
Pranab Mukherjee at RSS event HIGHLIGHTS: We derive our strength from tolerance, and respect our pluralism, says former President
Former president Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday will address the concluding ceremony of the RSS’s Tritiya Varsh Training programme at around 7:15 pm, which has generated much political controversy.
Former President and Congress veteran Pranab Mukherjee today warned that any attempt to define India through "religion, dogma or intolerance" will only dilute the country's existence, as he attended an RSS event amid criticism by several of his party leaders including his own daughter.
Mukherjee said intolerance will only dilute India' national identity and Indian nationalism emanated from universalism, assimilation and co-existence.
The veteran Congress leader veteran who arrived at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh headquarters in Nagpur's Reshimbagh at 5.30 pm was welcomed by party chief Mohan Bhagwat.
He, later visited the memorial of RSS founder KB Hedgewar, offer floral tributes and reached the function venue at 6.30 pm, where he addressed the RSS activists.
Former President and the Congress veteran Pranab Mukherjee today described Keshav Baliram Hedgewar as a "great son of Mother India' as he visited the birthplace of the RSS founding Sarsanghachalak.
"Today I came here to pay my respect and homage to a great son of Mother India," Mukherjee wrote in a visitor's book at Hedgewar's birthplace ahead of his much-anticipated speech at the RSS headquarters here.
The much-awaited address by the former President began at 8:00 pm.
Many in the Congress, including Mukherjee's daughter, had expressed uneasiness over the 82-year-old former President’s decision to attent an RSS event.
The RSS said it had invited the former president in keeping with a tradition of calling eminent people to the annual event. It is an annual training camp, meant for swayamsevaks in their third year in the organisation. The RSS holds training camps for first, second and third-year swayamsewaks.
Pranab Mukherjee ends his speech at RSS Tritiya Varsh saying Jai Hind, Vande Mataram.
It was this very nationalism that Pandit Nehru so vividly expressed in the book 'Discovery of India', he wrote, "I am convinced that nationalism can only come out of the ideological fusion of Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs and other groups in India.": Dr Pranab Mukherjee in Nagpur pic.twitter.com/hetZaDD1w6— ANI (@ANI) June 7, 2018
In India, we derive our strength from tolerance, and respect our pluralism; We celebrate our diversity, says Pranab Mukherjee.
#PranabAtRSS "I am here amongst you to share my understanding with you of the concepts of nation, nationalism and patriotism in the context of India," says Dr Pranab Mukherjee at #RSSTritiyaVarsh event in Nagpur.— The New Indian Express (@NewIndianXpress) June 7, 2018
Follow live upsates here: https://t.co/fBCAbVVgY3 pic.twitter.com/OHNzHrahhF
RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat invites former President Pranab Mukherjee to speak at the event.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat begins his address
He says, Dr Pranab Mukherjee was invited by us and he gracefully accepted it. How did we call him, etc is irrelevant here.
Dr Pranab Mukherjee ko humne sehej roop se amantran diya aur unhone humara sneh pehchan kar unhone sahmiti di. Unko kaise bulaya aur woh kaise ja rahe hain yeh charcha nirarthak hai: RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat pic.twitter.com/5pkT4bmyvX— ANI (@ANI) June 7, 2018
RSS on the reason behind inviting Pranab Mukherjee
Mukherjee writes in the visitor's book
Mukherjee visits Hedgewar birthplace ahead of RSS speech
He visited the birth place of the RSS founding Sarsanghachalak Keshav Baliram Hedgewar ahead of his much-anticipated speech at the Sangh headquarters here.
Pranab meets Mohan Bhagwat
Congress leader Ahmed Patel too added his views today
A day before Pranab Mukherjee addresses an RSS event in Nagpur, the former president's daughter and Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee today disapproved of his decision, saying he was giving the BJP and the Sangh a handle to plant false stories, as his "speech will be forgotten" but the "visuals will remain".
Hope @CitiznMukherjee now realises from todays’ incident, how BJP dirty tricks dept operates. Even RSS wouldn’t believe that u r going 2 endorse its views in ur speech. But the speech will be forgotten, visuals will remain & those will be circulated with fake statements. 1/2— Sharmistha Mukherjee (@Sharmistha_GK) June 6, 2018
.@CitiznMukherjee By going 2 Nagpur, u r giving BJP/RSS full handle 2 plant false stories, spread falls rumours as 2day & making it somewhat believable. And this is just d beginning! 2/2— Sharmistha Mukherjee (@Sharmistha_GK) June 6, 2018
“Whatever I have to say, I will say in Nagpur. I have received several letters, requests and phone calls, but I haven’t responded to anyone yet,” Mukherjee was quoted as saying by a Bengali newspaper.
Many in the Congress have expressed uneasiness over the 82-year-old former President’s decision to participate in the RSS event. While senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh wrote to Mukherjee requesting him not to attend the event, senior leader P Chidambaram had urged him to take the opportunity to tell the RSS what is wrong with their ideology.