New Delhi, June 7: Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday attended the concluding ceremony of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s “Tritiya Varsh Sangh Shiksha Varg” in Nagpur and spoke about nation, nationality and patriotism. “Our national identity has emerged after a long drawn process of confluence and assimilation, the multiple cultures and faiths make us special and tolerant,” he said.
Speaking of the highly debatable topic “intolerance”, the former President said that diversity in language and culture is what makes India special. “Intolerance hampers our identity as a nation. If we, as a nation, indulge in discrimination and hatred, then there’s threat to our identity,” he added. Listed are some of the quick takeaways from Pranab Mukherjee’s speech at the RSS event:
PRANAB MUKHERJEE’S SPEECH AT RSS EVENT: HIGHLIGHTS
1. I am here amongst you to share my understanding with you of the concepts of nation, nationalism and patriotism in the context of India.
2. A nation is defined as a large group of people sharing the same language, and heritage. Our national identity has emerged through confluence, assimilation and coexistence. (Also Read: Sonia Gandhi Asked Ahmed Patel to Tweet Against Pranab Mukherjee For RSS Visit)
3. Any attempt at defining our nationhood in terms of dogma and identities or religion, region, hatred and intolerance will only lead to dilution of our identity.
4. Diversity in language and culture is what makes India special. Indulging in discrimination and hatred will pose a threat to our identity.
5. It was this very nationalism that Pandit Nehru so vividly expressed in the book ‘Discovery of India’, he wrote, “I am convinced that nationalism can only come out of the ideological fusion of Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs and other groups in India.”
6. As Gandhi ji explained Indian nationalism was not exclusive nor aggressive nor destructive.
7. India needs to move from anger and violence to peace and harmony. We may be world’s fastest growing economy but we do not appear in the World Happiness Index.
Speaking at the event, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat welcomed the former President and said that “Sangh is Sangh and Pranab Mukherjee is Pranab Mukherjee and will remain” adding that the debate on why he was invited was “immaterial”.
“We all have known Dr. Pranab Mukherjee and are aware of his ordinary and simple nature. We are grateful for his arrival at this function today Nothing new has happened this year, such eminent citizens are invited to RSS event every year. We invited him and he accepted the invitation. The debate about why he is attending the event is immaterial,” he said.
Speaking further, he said, “No matter what the ideology is, no matter what the religion or language is, RSS believes in those who work for the society and influence people around. We have lots of Mahapurush, but we want such karyakartas. RSS unites people from different walks of life, it gets love, wherever it goes.”