Nagpur: Former President Pranab Mukherjee said tolerance, plurality and diversity defines India and Indians.
‘Pluralism and tolerance are the soul of India’ Mukherjee said today in his much anticipated speech at the RSS headquarters here.
“Patriotism is defined as devotion to one’s own country. We derive our strength from tolerance. We respect our pluralism. We celebrate our diversity”, Mukherjee told RSS cadres.
The former President reiterated that nationalism was not bound by race or religion.
“Any attempt to define our nation through religion, dogma or intolerance will only dilute our existence’, the one-time Congress stalwart asserted in his 25-minute speech.
Ahead of the event, the former President visited RSS founder KB Hegdewar’s birthplace.
‘Today I pay my homage to a great son of Mother India’, Mukherjee wrote in the visitor’s book.
Mukherjees’ s participation had sparked a major political controversy with senior Congressmen calling upon the former president to stay away from the function.
Mukheree’s daughter Sharmistha also took to Twitter criticizing his decision to accept the RSS invitation.
‘The speech will be forgotten but the visuals will remain and those will be circulated with fake statements’, she had tweeted.