NATION, NATIONALISM AND PATRIOTISM: Pranab Mukherjee at RSS headquarters

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Pranab Mukherjee at RSS headquarters

In the biggest crossover of the century in Indian Politics, Ex-president Mr Pranab Mukherjee visited Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh at Nagpur. The occasion was “Tritiya Varsha Sangh Shiksha Varg.” Although this is not the first time a congressman has been to RSS headquarter, Pranab Mukherjee at RSS held to be a very important event in Indian Politics. Already such a popular event, it was extra special as the race to 7, Lok Kalyan Marg has already started with barely a year for Lok Sabha elections 2019. Lets a take look at the speech of Pranab Mukherjee at RSS, its significance and events prior to the event.

Background

As soon as the news came that Pranab Mukherjee will address the swayamsevaks at Nagpur, it spread like a wildfire. Various key people of Congress responded differently to this. Ramesh Chinnithala and Adhir Choudhary urged and wrote letters to Mr Mukherjee to refrain from attending the functions. Further, Veteran Leader P Chidambaram said since Mr Mukherjee has accepted the invitations he should show what’s wrong with Sangh ideology. Mr Mukherjee’s daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee reminded that Speech will be forgotten, visuals will stay. Despite this hue and cry, ex-President still attended the ceremony and addressed the swayamsevaks.

Nation, Nationalism and Patriotism

Pranab Mukherjee at RSS ceremony shared his views on Nation, Nationalism and Patriotism in Indian context. Talking about these three concepts, he said they are intertwined closely and cant be addressed individually. He had his way and addressed lastly in the ceremony breaking the RSS’s graduation ceremony protocol. Acc to protocol RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat was supposed to address the last.

He said Indian Nationalism is based on the philosophy of Vasudhaia Kutumbakam and Sarve bhavantu Shukina, Sarve Santu Niramayah. He said for us democracy is a sacred trust and constitution is a Magna Carta of socio-economic transformation of the country. Further, he emphasized on the principles of pluralism and tolerance. This plurality is the collections of ideas over centuries. India is “perennial Universalism” of 1.2 billion people coming from different races, castes, religions and ethnicities. He emphasized the importance of dialogue not only to balance the competition but also to reconcile them. Only through the dialogue, we can develop the understanding of complex problems. Mohan Bhagwat, RSS Chief, also emphasised on the need of Unity and dialogue even if we have differences.

He finally concluded his speech with the objectives of peace, harmony and happiness. This way nationalism can flow automatically.

Follow-ups of Pranab Mukherjee at RSS Headquarters

Before the speech of Mr Mukherjee, RSS chief said referring to the controversy over Pranab Mukherjee at RSS headquarters. He said it is the tradition of RSS to invite people from various fields and learn from them.
Even Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel have address swayamsevaks before.

After the Ceremony, Randeep Surjewala commented that Mr Mukherjee has shown RSS the mirror of truth. Anand Sharma, a Senior Congress said there were no doubts that Mr Mukherjee will be influenced by RSS’s ideology. Clearly, a relief could be seen in Congress’s camp.

Conclusion

Pranab Mukherjee is one of the respected personalities of Indian Politics. The idea of his aura can be imagined by the controversy it created. Earlier Ram Nath Kovind, the President also visited the RSS headquarters. Sitaram Yechury said it is perplexing that Mr Mukherjee did not mention of Mahatma Gandhi and his assassination which speaks volume. Breaking the protocol, Pranab Mukherjee at RSS headquarters was the last speaker and critiqued the current position of Nationalism and secularism in Pranab Da’s style.

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