For­mer Pres­i­dent at RSS camp

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For­mer Pres­i­dent

Pranab Mukherjee’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the con­clud­ing cer­e­mony of the RSS’s third year “Sang Shik­sha Uarg” at the in­vi­ta­tion of RSS raised eye brows is sur­pris­ing be­cause in the past, sev­eral Congress stal­wart presided at RSS func­tions and de­liv­ered lec­tures. In fact, for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Jawa­har­lal Nehru pleased at the ac­tiv­i­ties un­der­taken by RSS dur­ing cri­sis times in­vited them to par­tic­i­pate in the 1963 In­de­pen­dence Day cel­e­bra­tions. There­fore, Congress and few op­po­si­tion par­ties rais­ing a hue and cry, in par­tic­u­lar, his daugh­ter cry­ing foul and crit­i­cis­ing Pran­abda was un­founded.

Pranab Mukherjee, a states­man and an ex­pe­ri­enced politi­cian ac­cepted the in­vi­ta­tion in the first place with good in­ten­tions, there­fore, doubt­ing his in­tegrity was un­fair and un­jus­ti­fied. His speech be­fore a large au­di­ence com­pris­ing of RSS work­ers was abun­dantly clear that he strongly be­lieved in sec­u­lar­ism and in­clu­sion which is prime na­tional of our coun­try. He went on to and the India emerg­ing from a long­drawn process of con­flu­ence, as­sim­i­la­tion and co-ex­is­tence must cel­e­brate the di­vert­ing by ac­cept­ing and re­spect­ing our plu­ral­ism in­stead of spread­ing ha­tred and in­tol­er­ance be­tween com­mu­ni­ties which would only lead to di­lu­tion of our na­tional iden­tity is in­dis­putable.

Con­clud­ing, he has sent a strong and pos­i­tive mes­sage to all our coun­try­men that as na­tion’s rich, an­cient her­itage — the 5000-year-old civil­i­sa­tion has only preached peace­ful co-ex­is­tence, re­spect for lift and har­mony with na­ture, only a non-vi­o­lent so­ci­ety can en­sure par­tic­i­pa­tion of all sec­tions of peo­ple in the demo­cratic process, es­pe­cially the marginalised and the dis­pos­sessed is not only apt and ap­pro­pri­ate but dis­pels all doubts from the minds of all those who doubted his sin­cer­ity. On the con­trary, his speech must serve a les­son to all to ab­sorb ev­ery de­tail to what he said and change be­cause soul of India re­sides in plu­ral­ism and tol­er­ance and not in vi­o­lence, fear and mis­trust.

— R. Srini­vasan

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