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Pranab Mukherjee: ‘The soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance’ at RSS event


‘Tritiya Varsha Sangh Shiksha Varg’ is an Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) event to mark the conclusion of a three-year training camp for swayamsevaks in Nagpur. On Thursday, 7th June 2018, former President Pranab Mukherjee was a guest speaker at this event where he addressed the closing ceremony of the Tritiya Varsha Sangh Shiksha Varg.

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Though day before his speech, Mr. Mukherjee’s daughter and Congress leader Sharmistha on Wednesday, said her father was giving the BJP and the Sangh a handle to plant false stories with his decision to speak at the RSS event. His “speech will be forgotten” but the “visuals will remain”, she said on Twitter. She also expressed the hope that the former president would realize how the BJP’s “dirty tricks department” works and warned him of the consequences of attending such a meet. Pranab said that he was in Nagpur to present his views on nationalism and patriotism.

His portal was as strong as his personality, grabbing the podium’s mic he initiated his speech saying,”I am here to present my views on nationalism and patriotism”. Later half when he really shared some truths, the speech continued with words, “The soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance”.

With dictionary meaning of three major terms Nation, Nationalism, Patriotism he reminded everyone of the basics.

“Nationalism is defined as ‘identification with one’s own nation and support for its interests especially to the exclusion of interests of other nations’. Patriotism is defined as ‘devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country”.

Former President Pranab Mukherjee said we derive our strength from tolerance at the RSS event

Then moving further towards the roots, he explained ‘India’ as a state. Touching upon the Gupta dynasty, Delhi’s capture by the Mughal emperors and the rise of the East India Company.

I quote, “I am convinced that Nationalism can only come out of the ideological fusion of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and other groups in India. That does not mean that extinction of any real culture of any group, but it does mean a common national outlook, to which other matters are subordinated”.

Finally, starting with his own perspective based on his own experience he concluded the speech.

“Let the objective of spreading Peace, Harmony and Happiness inform the formulation of our public policy and guide all the actions of our state and citizens in their everyday life. This and only this will be able to create a happy nation, where Nationalism flows automatically”.

Also, Mr. Mukherjee humbly concludes his speech with an apology that he exceeded the time given to him to address.

Watch full speech video:

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