Nagpur: While former congressman Pranab Mukherjee was received with a warm welcome by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, anguish is what he got from the Congress who were vocal about their disapproval in Mr Mukherjee's decision to attend the RSS event. The day of several photo-ops, bouquet exchanges and hand shakes in Nagpur led to the final event, a function organised for RSS cadre training to become full-time volunteers or pracharaks, where Mr Mukherjee was the chief guest. "I am here to speak about my understanding of the concepts of nation, nationalism and patriotism," Mr Mukherjee said as he began his speech.
- The soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance: Pranab Mukherjee
- Secularism and inclusion are a matter of faith for us, he said
- It is our composite culture which makes us into one nation, he added
Here are the top quotes from Pranab Mukherjee's speech at the RSS event in Nagpur
- We derive our strength from tolerance. We accept and respect our pluralism. We celebrate our diversity. We are not one nation, one identity
- Any attempt at defining our nationhood in terms of dogmas and identities of religion, region, hatred and intolerance will only lead to dilution of our national identity
- The soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance. This plurality of our society has come through assimilation of ideas over centuries
- India's Nationhood is not one language, one religion, one enemy. It is the 'Perennial Universalism' of 1.3 billion people
- We must move from conflict, violence and anger and move into harmony and peace. Our mother land is asking for it, it deserves it
- Secularism and inclusion are a matter of faith for us. It is our composite culture which makes us into one nation.
- From our Constitution flows our nationalism. The construct of Indian nationalism is constitutional patriotism
- Every day, we see increased violence around us. At the heart of this violence is darkness, fear and mistrust
- We must free our public discourse from all forms of violence, physical as well as verbal
- In the happiness of the people lies the happiness of the king, their welfare is his welfare.