Chidambaram ‘happy’ that Pranab Mukherjee told ‘RSS what is right about Congress' ideology’
New Delhi, June 8: The Thursday's speech delivered by former President and Congress veteran Pranab Mukherjee at an event hosted by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at its headquarters in Nagpur, Maharashtra has been "interpreted" by different people in different ways.
While the RSS and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have welcomed the 82-year-old leader's speech, others are not very happy that the former President decided to grace the concluding function of RSS' "Tritiya Varsh Varg" or third-year course as its chief guest.
Initially, the Congress which expressed "anguish" over Mukherjee's decision to visit the RSS headquarters later after hearing his speech said that the former President "has shown mirror of truth to the RSS".
Within the 'divided' Congress camp, former Union minister and Mukherjee's former colleague P Chidambaram has lauded the senior politician-President's speech.
"Happy that Mr Pranab Mukherjee told the RSS what is right about Congress' ideology. It was his way of saying what is wrong about RSS' ideology," Chidambaram tweeted.
Happy that Mr Pranab Mukherjee told the RSS what is right about Congress' ideology. It was his way of saying what is wrong about RSS' ideology— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) June 8, 2018
Afrer reports came in that Mukherjee has accepted the RSS invite to be a part of its function, many Congress leaders requested him to reconsider his decision. However, Chidambaram took a different line and had asked the former President to tell the RSS what is wrong with their ideology.
"Now that he (Pranab Mukherjee) has accepted invitation there is no point debating why he accepted it. More important thing to say is, sir you have accepted invitation, please go there and tell them what is wrong with their ideology," Chidambaram had said.
In his 30-minute-long speech, Mukherjee said, "We accept and respect our pluralism and celebrate our diversity. Our national identity has emerged after a long drawn process of confluence and assimilation, the multiple cultures and faiths make us special and tolerant.
"Nation is defined as a large group of people sharing the same language, heritage. Nationalism is defined as identification oneself with one's own nation. Patriotism is defined as devotion to one's own country. We derive our strength from tolerance. We respect our pluralism. We celebrate our diversity. Intolerance will only dilute our national identity. Any attempt to define our nation through religion, dogma or intolerance will only fade our existence," he added.