The Congress and RSS have shared a long and fascinating history. From Mahatma Gandhi attending their event to being called by Jawaharlal Nehru to attend Republic Day, there are several instances of mutual respect. Lal Bahadur Shastri used to often invite Shri Guruji (the then RSS Sarsanghchalak M S Golwalkar) for consultation on national issues.
However, that has not been the case in the since Rahul Gandhi has taken control of the Congress party. Rahul Gandhi has attacked the RSS constantly, blaming it for every ill in the country. He has also accused the RSS of murdering Gandhi for which the Supreme Court roasted him, and rightfully so. Rahul Gandhi also alleged that the 11 people killed in the police firing at an anti-Sterlite protest was because they did not follow RSS ideology. Rahul Gandhi has been unnecessarily targeting the RSS constantly, dragging the organization into every issue that surfaces across the nation. His political mentor, Digvijay Singh released a book about the alleged involvement of RSS in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and has also called Arvind Kejriwal an RSS agent. Both the student and teacher have a record blaming RSS for anything and everything wrong happening under the sun.
But then, this is perhaps not the view that many in the Congress prescribe to. Former president and key troubleshooter of the UPA era, Pranab Mukherjee has decided to attend an RSS event. Former President Pranab Mukherjee is going to address members of the RSS in its headquarters at Nagpur. Over 600 workers of the Third Year Sangha Shiksha Varg (SSV) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh will get a chance to listen to former President Pranab Mukherjee in person at the RSS headquarters on June 7. The party which divided the country is now itself divided into two factions. One faction is against Pranab Mukherjee’s move to attend the RSS event, while the other one is defending his decision.
Several people like P. Chidambaram (who said he wouldn’t attend, as if he would ever be invited), Jairam Ramesh, M Veerappa Moily, Hanumath Rao, Ramesh Chenithala and others have come out against Mukherjee’s decision.
This is outright bigotry. Congress doesn't attack those Congis who go attack India on Pakistan soil. #Libtards embrace Maoists, Jehadis, the #BreakUpIndia Gangs.But RSS is untouchable! "Skip RSS event: Jairam Ramesh to Pranab Mukherjee – Times of India https://t.co/8PYjNiMzRQ
— MadhuPurnima Kishwar (@madhukishwar) June 3, 2018
Jairam Ramesh reportedly said, “Meeting RSS functionaries in Rashtrapati Bhavan or at his residence is one thing. But going into their ‘garbh griha’ (sanctum sanctorum) in Nagpur is another. And it’s a convocation of people who would be ‘pracharaks’ and would go about the RSS job of demolishing the fundamentals of Indian democracy.”
The very gesture of attending (RSS event) will make a difference which is not desirable for the country: M Veerappa Moily, Senior Congress leader on former president Pranab Mukherjee accepting invite to attend RSS event pic.twitter.com/B3p4JamWqW
— ANI (@ANI) June 4, 2018
Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Sushil Shinde, a trusted aide of the Gandhi family, former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, governor of Andhra Pradesh, Power Minister and Home Minister of India has backed the decision made by Pranab Mukherjee. He said, “Pranab Mukherjee is a secular person. He will always put forth a secular view which he will do there (at the RSS event) as well. He is a very good thinker, and his going there and speaking on that platform is very important.” He has said that despite disagreements, there should be no untouchability.
Pranab Mukherjee dedicated his life to Secularism. Even if he goes there (RSS event) he won’t give any discriminatory address: Sushil Kumar Shinde, Leader, Congress #PranabWithRSS pic.twitter.com/BstCwVwrIn
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) June 4, 2018
Meanwhile, Pranab Mukherjee broke his silence on the issue. He is adamant on attending the RSS event. He told Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika, “Whatever I have to say, I will say in Nagpur. I have received several letters, requests and phone calls, but I haven’t responded to anyone yet.”
These moves have put the Gandhis in a soup, and they have refrained to give comment. Several other senior leaders of the party too have refrained from commenting. Some of them might be waiting for the ‘high command’ to take a stand, but it is believed that many others who have not spoken up are completely fine with Pranab Mukherjee’s decision. This move has clearly split the Congress party and embarrassed it to no end.
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