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.