The Congress on Thursday said that former President Pranab Mukherjee
has shown the mirror of truth of India's pluralism to the RSS, minutes after the veteran Congress leader finished his address in Nagpur.
"Dr Mukherjee's visit to the RSS
HQ had led to a wide range of discussions and concerns. Today Pranab Mukherjee
has shown the mirror to RSS
at their HQ. He talked of plurality, tolerance and multiculturalism," Congress leader and AICC communications in charge Randeep Surjewala said at a press briefing.
Congress veteran Pranab Mukherjee, in his address at the RSS
event on Thursday, said intolerance will only dilute India's national identity and Indian nationalism emanated from universalism, assimilation and co-existence.
Also read: As Pranab prepares for RSS event, here's how Congress leaders feel about it
"In India, we derive our strength from tolerance and respect our pluralism. We celebrate our diversity," Mukherjee
Surjewala said Mukherjee
has "reminded the RSS
of the history of India."
"He taught the RSS
that India's beauty lies in its tolerance for difference ideas, religions and languages. Is RSS
ready to listen?" he added.
The Congress also asked the RSS
and the BJP if they would change their "character, orientation, thought process" after accepting the sagacious advice of Mukherjee.
"Let the RSS
and the BJP publicly commit today to change its character, orientation, thought process and path and accept the sagacious advice of their guest Pranab Mukherjee.
It is time for (RSS
chief) Mohan Bhagwat
and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to answer. We await a reply," Surjewala said.
Surjewala said Mukherjee
reminded the Modi government of following "rajdharma" founded upon diversity, non-violence, multi-culturalism and assimilation of ideas.
ready to admit its mistakes and ready to adapt India's pluralism, secularism and diversity? Will RSS
give up its prejudice towards women and marginalised? Will it give up its inherent character of subjugation and violence?" he asked.
On a closely watched visit that irked his Congress party, Mukherjee, who was India’s President from 2012 to 2017, said pluralism, a common history and the celebration of diversity make the country special.
"Any attempt at defining our nationhood with religion, region, hatred and intolerance will only dilute our identity," Mukherjee
said at a function of the RSS’s third-year officers’ training camp, discussing the notions of “nation, nationalism and patriotism”.