RSS invite to Pranab: When Mahatama Gandhi paid a visit in 1934
Former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee has been invited as the chief guest for an RSS event to be held in Nagpur. The event he would be attending is the Shiksha Varg which is an annual training camp meant for recruits in their third year. The acceptance of the invitation by the Congress veteran has been a subject matter of debate, but the party he belongs to has remained mum.
Mukherjee would be present at the valedictory programme. He would deliver his speech on the concluding day. The programme then comes to an end with a speech by the Sarsangchalak.
An invitation to a person who does not subscribe to the RSS ideology is nothing new. In 1933 when Hedgewar was the chief, he had invited Sir Moropant Joshi who was the Central Provinces Minister. On December 25 1934, Mahatma Gandhi too had visited the RSS camp.
In 2007, it may be recalled that former Air Chief Marshal A Y Tipnis had attended the camp. He had delivered a speech in which there was veiled criticism that dwelt on secularism and faith in the Constitution. This was however rebutted point to point by the then RSS chief, K S Sudarshan. Abhay Bang who is a Gandhian too has attended the programme.
Here is the list of people who been chief guests at this camp:
- 2010: J P Rajkhowa, former chief secretary of Assam
- 2011: Dr. Ganga Raju, an industrialist from Vijaywada
- 2012: Ashwini Kumar of the Punjab Kesari group
- 2013: Sri Sri Sri Dr.Nirmalanandanatha Maha Swamiji, head of Adichunchanagiri Mutt
- 2014: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
- 2015: D Veerendra Heggade, Dharmadikari of Dharmasthala temple
- 2016: Rantidev Sengupta, senior journalist from Bengal
- 2017:Rookmangud Katawal, former Nepal Army chief