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Pranab Mukherjee speech at RSS HQ highlights: Ex-president praises Sardar Patel at Nagpur

Former president Pranab Mukherjee addressed an RSS event at its headquarters in Nagpur.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2018 22:03 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Nagpur
Former President Pranab Mukherjee (right) with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Nagpur at the RSS’s Tritiya Varsha event.
Former President Pranab Mukherjee (right) with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Nagpur at the RSS’s Tritiya Varsha event.(ANI Photo)

Former president Pranab Mukherjee addressed a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) event at its headquarters in Nagpur.

Mukherjee, who arrived in Nagpur on Wednesday, was the chief guest at the valedictory function of the RSS’s third-year officers’ training camp at its headquarters in Reshimbagh.

Around 700 swayamsevaks from places across the country are participating in the camp, also known as the Sangh Shiksha Varga (Sangh training class). RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said that the former president had been invited in keeping with a tradition of calling eminent people to the annual event

Below are the highlights:

8.34pm: Former President Pranab Mukherjee ends his address at the RSS event in Nagpur.

8.30pm: “Every day we see increased violence around us. This violence is a form of darkness. Our motherland is asking for peace, harmony, happiness,” says Pranab Mukherjee.

8.25pm: Sardar Patel united and integrated India, says Pranab Mukherjee.

8.21pm: Democracy became our most treasured guide. Democracy is not a gift, but a sacred guide: Pranab Mukherjee.

8.18pm: Intolerance will only dilute our national identity. Any attempt to define our nation through religion, dogma or intolerance will only fade our existence: Pranab Mukherjee

8.15pm: “Our national identity has emerged after a long drawn process of confluence and assimilation, the multiple cultures and faiths make us special and tolerant,” says former president Pranab Mukherjee.

“We derive our strength from tolerance. We respect our pluralism. We celebrate our diversity,” he added.

8.12pm: “Nation is defined as a large group of people sharing same language, heritage. Nationalism is defined as identification oneself with one’s own nation. Patriotism is defined as devotion to one’s own country,” says Pranab Mukherjee.

8.10pm: Pranab Mukherjee begins address at RSS headquarters in nagpur.

“I am here amongst you to share my understanding with you of the concepts of nation, nationalism and patriotism in the context of India,” he says.

8pm: RSS is trying to bring everyone together in the country and not trying to establish itself as a Hindu outfit. No one is alien to us: Mohan Bhagwat.

7.50pm: “The Sangh has one objective, that no matter difference in opinion and language, individuals in the nation work to make their environment better,” says Mohan Bhagwat.

7.40pm: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat thanks Pranab Mukherjee for taking time to understand his organisation. “This is an annual event. We call dignitaries every year. Those who can come, grace the event with their presence. But all the discussion and opposition around who visits us and when is needless,” he says.

7.35pm: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat addressing the audience at the valedictory function of the Sangh’s third-year officers’ training camp in Nagpur.

7.15pm: Former president Pranab Mukherjee is introduced to the audience. He will be addressing the workers shortly.

6.50pm: Images of Pranab Mukherjee at RSS HQ have anguished millions of Congress workers and those who believe in pluralism, diversity, tweeted Anand Sharma.

6.30pm: Former president Pranab Mukherjee arrives at Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Tritiya Varsh event in Nagpur.

5.40pm: “Today I came here to pay my respect and homage to a great son of Mother India,” writes former President Pranab Mukherjee in his message in the visitor’s book at RSS founder KB Hedgewar’s birthplace in Nagpur.

5.24pm: Former President Pranab Mukherjee visits the birth place of the RSS founding Sarsanghachalak Keshav Baliram Hedgewar ahead of his speech at the Sangh headquarters.

2:59pm: “I am 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,” says former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh.

2:45pm: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat skips lunch at Raj Bhavan. President Pranab Mukherjee and Bhagwat are expected to have dinner at RSS headquarters, Reshimbagh, after the scheduled programme.

11:22am: On Wednesday, former president’s daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee took to Twitter to warn Pranab Mukherjee of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) “dirty tricks department”

11:20am: Former president hosted a dinner for RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Wednesday. The two are expected to meet again this afternoon over lunch.