Former President at RSS camp
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