An astute politician of the Grand Old Party, Mukherjee asserted that reasoned public engagement is essential in a democracy
Former President of India and Congress veteran, Pranab Mukherjee, addressed RSS swayamsevaks on their annual event Tritiya Varga Varsha in Nagpur yesterday. Mukherjee shared the stage with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, among others. He addressed over 700 swayamsevaks at the valedictory event on Indian nationalism.Here are the key takeaways from Mukherjee’s speech at the event:
- India derives its strength from tolerance. It believes in collective conscience and celebrates diversity. Intolerance will only dilute our national identity.
- Any attempt to define our nation through religion, dogma or intolerance will only fade our existence. Hatred leads to dilution of nationalism.
- The soul of India lies in pluralism and tolerance. Secularism and inclusion is a matter of faith for us.
- As Gandhiji explained, Indian nationalism was not exclusive, was not destructive. Pandit Nehru said, Indian nationalism only comes from a congregation of Hindus, Muslims and all other religions.
- Indian nationalism was and is above political, religion and regional inclination. This was the case before Independence and remains to be the truth even today. For us, democracy is not a gift but a sacred task.
- A dialogue is necessary not only to balance competing interests but also to reconcile them.