All eyes were on former president and Congress veteran Pranab Mukherjee as he delivered the valedictory speech at the concluding session of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) Tritiya Varsh Sangh Shiksha Varg in Nagpur. It was the first speech by a Congress veteran at an RSS event.
The former president's visit to RSS headquarters was criticised and condemned by many Congress leaders, including his daughter Sharmistha, who warned him of repercussions of attending the Hindutva group's event. She said that the BJP and RSS will use his visit to spread false propaganda.
Highlights of the RSS event:
#08:38 PM: Dr Pranab Mukherjee concludes his speech
#08:37 PM: For us, democracy is not a gift but a separate task, says Mukherjee
#08:35 PM: Each conquerer and foreign element has been absorbed in India's cultural milieu, says Pranab Mukherjee
#08:30 PM: It was this very nationalism that Pandit Nehru so vividly expressed in the book 'Discovery of India. I am convinced that nationalism can only come out of the ideological fusion of Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs and other groups in India: Mukherjee
#08:27 PM: As Gandhi ji explained Indian nationalism was not exclusive nor aggressive nor destructive: Pranab Mukherjee
#08:23 PM: Intolerance will only dilute our national identity, hatred leads to dilution of nationalism, says Mukherjee
#08:18 PM: 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: Mukherjee
#08:11 PM: I am here amongst you to share my understanding with you of the concepts of nation, nationalism and patriotism in the context of India, says Dr Pranab Mukherjee.
#08:08 PM: Dr Pranab Mukherjee begins hi speech.
#08:07 PM: Mohan Bhagwat concludes his speech
#08:03 PM: We must have a democratic mind, says Mohan Bhagwat
#08:00 PM: We should realise that we are working for the betterment of the same country but some groups have selfish motives. Governments can do a lot but cannot keep an eye in every sphere. We need to take up the role individually as well, says Bhagwat
#07:55 PM: Only when society at large participates in nation building, only then can governments deliver, says Bhagwat
#07:50 PM: The RSS event takes place in the same way, year after year. We call dignitaries every year, those who can come grace the event with their presence. But all the discussion and opposition around who visits us and when is meaningless: Bhagwat
#07:41 PM: Attending an RSS event won't change who Pranab Mukherjee is: Bhagwat
#07:40 PM: We hardly invited Pranab Mukherjee to our event. He respected us and accepted our invitation, says Mohan bhagwat.
#07:35 PM: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat begins his speech.
#06:45 PM: Mukherjee paying floral respect to Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, second Sarsanghchalak of RSS.
#06:40 PM: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) flag being unfurled at RSS's Tritiya Varsh event, in Nagpur, where former President Pranab Mukherjee is the chief guest.
WATCH: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) flag being unfurled at RSS's Tritiya Varsh event, in Nagpur, where former President Dr Pranab Mukherjee is the chief guest. pic.twitter.com/A4zKtLiv4f— ANI (@ANI) June 7, 2018
#06:25 PM: Former President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) Tritiya Varsh event, in Nagpur.
Former President Dr Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) Tritiya Varsh event, in Nagpur. pic.twitter.com/V0f2oHG8vA— ANI (@ANI) June 7, 2018
#06:12 PM: Dialogue can only be with those who are willing to listen, absorb and change. There is nothing to suggest that RSS has moved away from his core agenda as it seeks legitimacy, Sharma said in another tweet.
#06:10 PM: Pranab at RSS Headquarters anguished Congress workers: The images of Pranab Da, veteran leader and ideologue at RSS Headquarters have anguished millions of Congress workers and all those who believed in pluralism, diversity and the foundational values of the Indian Republic, tweeted Congress leader Anand Sharma.
#05:40 PM: Pranab calls Hedgewar a great son of Mother India: 'Today I came here to pay my respect and homage to a great son of Mother India': Pranab Mukherjee's message in the visitor's book at RSS founder KB Hedgewar's birthplace in Nagpur
'Today I came here to pay my respect and homage to a great son of Mother India': Former President Dr.Pranab Mukherjee's message in the visitor's book at RSS founder KB Hedgewar's birthplace in Nagpur pic.twitter.com/ax76NCzJMa— ANI (@ANI) June 7, 2018
#05:30 PM: Former President Pranab Mukherjee in conversation with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat at RSS founder KB Hedgewar's birthplace in Nagpur.
#05:20 PM: Former President Pranab Mukherjee arrives at Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) founder KB Hedgewar's birthplace. He was welcomed by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
#05:10 PM: Speech will be forgotten, visuals will remain: Daughter Sharmistha to Pranab Mukherjee on RSS: Sharmistha took to Twitter to remind her father that by attending the RSS event, he will give a full handle to the BJP/RSS to plant false propaganda. She said that his speech will be forgotten but visuals will remain......Read Full Story Here
#05:00 PM: Hello and welcome to the News Nation live updates. Former president and Congress veteran Pranab Mukherjee will address the RSS cadre shortly. With his visit to RSS headquarters in Nagpur, Mukherjee has dropped a political grenade which will damage the Congress party and give an edge to BJP in the war of ideologies. What this space for all the latest updates from Mukherjee's RSS event.