Days after former President Pranab Mukherjee attended an event of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Nagpur, noted industrialist Ratan Tata is now expected to share the stage with Mohan Bhagwat in Mumbai.
According to news agency PTI, Tata and Bhagwat will share the stage at an event organised by Nana Palkar Smriti Samiti, an NGO affiliated to the RSS, on August 24. The agency quoted a Sangh functionary as saying Tata was aware of the work done by the NGO.
The office of the NGO, named after Sangh pracharak Nana Palkar, is opposite Tata Memorial Hospital, which treats cancer patients. The event is to mark the conclusion of the centenary year celebrations of Nana Palkar.
Pranab Mukherjee’s decision to attend an RSS event in Nagpur in June had triggered fierce war of words. While many, including the former president’s daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee, had opposed the move, there were many who had said that Mukherjee had done the right thing by attending the event.
Addressing the grand event, Mukherjee had focused his speech on the issue of India and nationalism. He underscored the importance of tolerance to India’s identity. Mukherjee also put forth his understanding of the concepts of nationalism and patriotism, while avoiding any direct political points.
"Any attempt at defining our nationhood in terms of dogmas & identities of religion, region, hatred & intolerance will only lead to dilution of our national identity," Mukherjee had said while sharing the stage with the RSS chief Bhagwat.
"India's Nationhood is not one language, one religion and one enemy. It is the perennial universalism of 1.3 billion people, who use more than 122 languages and 1600 dialects, practice 7 major religions and belong to 3 major ethnic groups, live under one system,one flag and one identity of being Bharatiya," he had further said.
Quoting the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, Mukherjee had said that Indian nationalism was not exclusive nor aggressive nor destructive.