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. 

Published: 07th June 2018 05:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th June 2018 09:24 PM   |  A+A-

Pranab Mukherjee and Mohan Bhagwat in Nagpur on Thursday (PTI Photo)

By Online Desk

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.

READ FULL REPORT: Any attempt to define India through religion, intolerance will dilute its existence: Pranab Mukherjee at RSS event in Nagpur

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.

09:37 Jun 7
09:25 Jun 7
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08:44 Jun 7

Pranab Mukherjee ends his speech at RSS Tritiya Varsh saying Jai Hind, Vande Mataram.

08:34 Jun 7
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08:29 Jun 7

In India, we derive our strength from tolerance, and respect our pluralism; We celebrate our diversity, says Pranab Mukherjee.

08:22 Jun 7
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08:08 Jun 7

 RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat invites former President Pranab Mukherjee to speak at the event.

07:55 Jun 7

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat begins his address

07:53 Jun 7
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06:33 Jun 7

RSS on the reason behind inviting Pranab Mukherjee

06:27 Jun 7

Mukherjee writes in the visitor's book

06:26 Jun 7

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.

06:22 Jun 7

Pranab meets Mohan Bhagwat

05:12 Jun 7

Congress leader Ahmed Patel too added his views today

05:10 Jun 7

June 6

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".

05:09 Jun 7

June 3

“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.

05:08 Jun 7

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.


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