Nagpur: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday dismissed all criticism about former President Pranab Mukherjee attending an event at the RSS headquarters and said his presence is a not a matter of debate at all.
"There has been a tradition that we invite well-known people from various walks of life for our Tritiya Varsh event. We are only following this tradition. There is no meaning in the discussion that has happened this time.
"Everyone in this country knows the personality of Pranab Mukherjee. We are grateful that we are able to learn something from him. How Pranabji was called and how he is coming is not a matter of debate. Sangh is Sangh, Pranab is Pranab. There have been many debates about Pranab Mukherjee attending the event but we do not consider anyone different from ourselves," the RSS chief said welcoming Mr Mukherjee, whose acceptance of the invitation to the event has attracted sharp criticism from some Congress leaders and Left leaders -- as also his daughter.
Mr Bhagwat said the Sangh only wants to unite the entire society. "We embrace all, we are not just for one section. RSS believes in unity in diversity. Every citizen born in India is an Indian. It is his right to worship our motherland. We Indians are all one and united," he said.
The RSS chief said India had great natural resources and so never needed to fight anyone for living. India accommodated everyone from outside. Several great minds laid down their lives for this country.
"There are times when we had our differences but we are all sons of the same soil - India. Diversity should be accepted, it's good. We are all one, even in this diversity. Government alone cannot do everything, citizens also have to contribute. Only then can a country change," he said.
He said there were times people have differences. "But we are all sons of the same soil. We are all even in this."
"Everybody has the right to have a political opinion but there is a limit to have opposing opinion. We should realise that we are working for the betterment of the same country but some groups have more motives than just debating. Governments can do a lot but not everything.
"We need to take up the role individually as well. Only then can the nation change. Even before independence, everybody agreed that we need to work together for the nation. Political differences are now dividing us. The nation's future depends on common citizens. Only when citizens are willing to set aside their aspirations can a nation change for good," Mr Bhagwat said.