Pranab Mukherjee RSS Speech LIVE: India derives strength from tolerance, says former president on Sangh dais

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Nagpur | Updated: June 7, 2018 8:39:28 pm

Former President Pranab Mukherjee today addressed RSS Tritiya Varsh valedictory today. Mukherjee said, "We (India) derive our strength from tolerance."

pranab mukherjee hedgewar
Former President Pranab Mukherjee and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat offer their homage at the Samadhi of Dr KB Hedgewar at Smriti Mandir in Nagpur. The RSS Tritiya Varsh valedictory is organised in the same campus. (Twitter/@RSSorg)

Pranab Mukherjee RSS Speech LIVE: Former President Pranab Mukherjee today addressed RSS Tritiya Varsh valedictory today. Mukherjee said, “We (India) derive our strength from tolerance.” His acceptance of the RSS invitation has generated a lot of interest and controversy in the last few days. Mukherjee has been a Congressman for most of his years and also one of the critics of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He will today attend the valedictory function of ‘Sangh Shiksha Varg’ as a chief guest at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur city of Maharashtra. Mukherjee’s decision to go to Nagpur stunned many Congress leaders. Some of them urged the former President not to attend the Sangh even in the “interest of secularism”. However, despite criticism and reservations expressed by several Congress leaders, Mukherjee decided to go ahead with his decision.

Watch LIVE: Pranab Mukherjee speech at RSS Tritiya Varsh valedictory

Why Pranab Mukherjee’s presence at RSS meet shouldn’t surprise anyone

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Watch LIVE Pranab Mukherjee's speech at RSS headquarter in Nagpur; check all updates

20:37 (IST)07 Jun 2018
Pranab Mukherjee thanks Mohan Bhagwat, ends speech

'Gandhi ji explained Indian nationalism was not exclusive nor aggressive nor destructive. 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,' Says Mukherjee.

Former president thanks RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for giving him an opportunity to address RSS workers.

20:23 (IST)07 Jun 2018
Pranab Mukherjee: India derives strength from tolerance

"Our national identity has emerged after a long drawn process of confluence and assimilation, the multiple cultures and faiths make us special and tolerant. 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," says Mukherjee.

20:13 (IST)07 Jun 2018
Pranab Mukherjee speaks on nation, nationalism and patriotism in Indian context

Today I am here amidst you share my understanding, with you, the concepts of nation, nationalism and patriotism in the context of India, says Mukherjee. Watch Full Speech:

19:54 (IST)07 Jun 2018
19:41 (IST)07 Jun 2018
Mohan Bhagwat: Sangh wants to unite all, no one is other for us

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat says the purpose of Sangh is to unite all sections of society. He says that inviting prominent people is a norm for Sangh. And this year Dr Pranab Mukherjee was invited. There is nothing new about it.

19:33 (IST)07 Jun 2018
Congress workers anguished: Anand Sharma on Pranab Mukherjee Nagpur Visit

Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma tweets: 'The images of Pranab Da, veteran leader and ideologue at RSS Headquarters have anguished millions of Congress workers and all those who believed in pluralism, diversity and the foundational values of the Indian Republic. Dialogue can only be with those who are willing to listen, absorb and change. There is nothing to suggest that RSS has moved away from his core agenda as it seeks legitimacy.'

19:29 (IST)07 Jun 2018
Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to RSS’ Hedgewar birthplace was not part of his scheduled program

According to sources, this visit to pay tributes to Hedgewar was not part of Mukherjee’s scheduled itinerary and an impromptu decision was taken by the former president to do so. Mukherjee, who reached Nagpur last evening, has been invited by the RSS to address its Shiksha Varg and attend a parade by the Sangh workers on completion of the training camp. It is an annual training camp, meant for swayamsevaks in their third year in the organisation. PTI READ MORE

Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to RSS’ Hedgewar birthplace was not part of his scheduled program

19:22 (IST)07 Jun 2018
See Pics: Pranab Mukherjee pays tribute to RSS Founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar
19:13 (IST)07 Jun 2018
‘Finance Minister’ Pranab Mukherjee’s tenure as he attends RSS event: Take a look

The biggest highlight of Pranab Mukherjee’s tenure as the finance minister of India was the retrospective tax — a decision he defended in his book last year. In 2012, Pranab Mukherjee, in the Budget 2012-13, proposed to amend the Income-Tax Act, 1961 with retrospective effect to tax Vodafone-type merger and acquisition deals done overseas that involve domestic assets. The decision was largely criticised even as some of his earlier tax reforms were praised by economists and analysts. READ MORE

19:00 (IST)07 Jun 2018
RSS Tritiya Varsh started with Sangh prarthana, followed by demonstrations
18:40 (IST)07 Jun 2018
Pranab Mukherjee arrives at event venue

Former President Pranab Mukherjee arrives at Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) Tritiya Varsh event, in Nagpur.

17:50 (IST)07 Jun 2018
RSS Journey: Sangh started in Hedgewar's home on Vijayadashami Day in 1925
17:42 (IST)07 Jun 2018
Pranab takes 'improptu' decision to visit RSS founder KB Hedgewar birthplace

Former President and the Congress veteran Pranab Mukherjee today visited the birth place of the RSS founding Sarsanghachalak Keshav Baliram Hedgewar ahead of his much-anticipated speech at the Sangh headquarters here. Mukherjee was welcomed by the RSS chief Bhagwat. According to sources, this visit to pay tributes to Hedgewar was not part of Mukherjee's scheduled itinerary and an impromptu decision was taken by the former president to do so. Sources said he would be welcomed at the RSS headquarters by Bhagwat and general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi. At the headquarters, he will also garland the statue of the sangh founder Hedgewar. There, he will also be introduced to the other senior Sangh functionaries and will attend the Sangh parade by its workers on completion of the training camp. Mukherjee, who reached Nagpur last evening, has been invited by the RSS to address its Shiksha Varg.

17:33 (IST)07 Jun 2018
Pranab Mukherjee on RSS founder Hedgewar - 'Great son of Mother India'
17:25 (IST)07 Jun 2018
Did not expect this from Pranab da: Ahmed Patel on former prez addressing RSS event

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel today expressed his disapproval at former president Pranab Mukherjee visiting the RSS headquarters in Nagpur and said he did not expect this from him. Patel, who is UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's close confidant and has been her political secretary, voiced his view on Twitter, in reply to Mukherjee's daughter who spoke out against the decision of the former president to address an RSS event. "I did not expect this from Pranab da!" Patel said in his one line tweet. Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee had yesterday said her father was giving the BJP and the Sangh a handle to plant false stories.

His "speech will be forgotten" but the "visuals will remain", she said on Twitter. She also expressed the hope that the former president would realise how the BJP's "dirty tricks department" works and warned him of the consequences of attending such a meet. Pranab Mukherjee is in Nagpur today to address an RSS event in the evening. The visit has given rise to a lot of speculation and has been opposed both by the Congress and his 'parivar'. Some Congress leaders, including Jairam Ramesh and C K Jaffar Sharief, have written to him. A few leaders of the party, including Anand Sharma, have personally visited him in a bid to dissuade him from going to Nagpur. (PTI)

17:20 (IST)07 Jun 2018
Know about RSS Tritiya Varsh varg

According to the Sangh: "RSS Tritiya Varsh Varg is held at Nagpur every year, where selected participants come from across the country for a rigorous 25 day training. The participants bear their own expenses. The participants in RSSTritiyaVarsh are those who bear responsibility in their Taluks/ Nagars. Before coming to this varg, they would have completed a 7 day training ( Prathmik ) at district level & two 21 day training camps (Pratham & Dwitiya Varsh)."

In the RSS Tritiya Varsh valedictory, it is customary to invite people who have made significant contributions to national life as Chief Guest and have the benefit of their experience. In line with this, Sri Pranab Mukherjee was extended an invitation.

17:19 (IST)07 Jun 2018
Look at Pranab Mukherjee's ‘happy moments’ with right wing

Mukherjee and RSS leaders have never been untouchables for each other. In fact, this is not the first time that RSS has sent an invitation to Mukherjee. On the other hand, Mukherjee too had held a meeting with RSS leaders on several occasions.

As per an Indian Express report, the saffron party had approached Mukherjee with an invitation for the event while he was still serving as the President. However, Mukherjee had denied it citing the obligations of the President’s office. However, this time he accepted the invitation as now he is free of all the obligations of his previous office. Mukherjee too had invited Bhagwat for lunch at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Also, the former President had at the time of launch of the Pranab Mukherjee Foundation earlier this year . READ MORE

17:11 (IST)07 Jun 2018
Watch: Pranab Mukherjee chats with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat
17:06 (IST)07 Jun 2018
Pranab Mukherjee reaches Hedgewar’s birth place, Mohan Bhagwat welcomes; see pics
15:25 (IST)07 Jun 2018
Virbhadra Singh comments on Pranab Mukherjee's Nagpur visit

Virbhadra Singh, Former Himachal Pradesh CM, tells ANI: "'m sure that Pranab Mukherjee won't say anything in Nagpur which isn't in favour of the nation. In fact whatever he says will be in favour of country. I've no issues with him attending that event. He's free to go wherever he wants to."

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