OPINION
RECONCILE AND MOVE ON
RSS-Pranab meet: Time to bury old ghosts
- VIPIN PUBBY*
RSS-Pranab meet: Time to bury old ghosts



Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sewak Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat, credited with inviting former President Pranab Mukherjee to the RSS headquarters at Nagpur, was wrong when he said the Sangh would remain Sangh and Mukherjee will remain what he is even after the event. Not only has the momentous event impacted the Sangh and the former president but hopefully the country’s political discourse for the better.

For the RSS to invite the former first citizen and dyed-in-the-wool Congress leader, who had spent decades in the party and had missed at least two chances of becoming prime minister by a whisker, was a remarkable initiative. For Mukherjee to accept and speak at the headquarters of an organisation which had been political anathema for him before he was elected the President, was a bold move. Even though he became ‘apolitical’ after entering the Rashtrapati Bhavan, he will always be known as one of the most prominent Congress leaders since the independence.

The RSS, which gave birth to the Bharatiya Janata Party, and the Congress represent two extreme political ideologies. Though they had not been seeing eye to eye for decades, the recent trends of mutual suspicion, extreme dislike and hatred had vitiated the political discourse.

The BJP, led by prime minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, had set its agenda for a "Congress-mukt Bharat” as it won state after state to be in power with a score of the 29 states of the country, and the Congress is now leading a bunch of parties seeking to make it a "Modi-mukt Bharat”.
------
Although some eyebrows were raised for his full some praise of the founder of the Sangh K B Hedgewar, his speech did mention unity in diversity and underlined the unique identity of the nation as an amalgamation of diverse religious beliefs.
------
The political debate has become so vitiated in the recent past that it has become almost impossible to articulate an objective view without one or the other side branding you either a "Modi bhakt” or a "Rahul bhakt”. Neither side is willing to hear any criticism and even forwarded jokes are taken as an affront and ‘proof’ that you are against so-and-so. 
 
If the invite from the RSS to Mukherjee and his decision to accept and speak at the Sangh’s headquarters has helped to bridge this antagonism between the divergent political views, it is certainly for the better. There can be no two opinions about the patriotism and nationalism of RSS/BJP combine or that of the Congress-led array of political parties. As Mukherjee’s eloquent speech at Nagpur brought out, there can be saner and less acrimonious ways to raise your point of view.

The debate over what Mukherjee left unsaid – lack of reference to Gandhi’s role in freedom struggle and his assassination, intolerance of religious fanatics, incidents of lynchings and attacks and the aggressive imposition of Hindutva agenda – is immaterial. Although some eyebrows were raised for his full some praise of the founder of the Sangh K B Hedgewar, his speech did mention unity in diversity and underlined the unique identity of the nation as an amalgamation of diverse religious beliefs.

"Today I came here to pay my respect and homage to a great son of Mother India," Mukherjee wrote in a visitor's book at Hedgewar's birthplace ahead of his much-anticipated speech at the RSS headquarters at Nagpur.

 
For that matter even Bhagwat was highly circumspect in his speech. He too refrained from saying anything provocative or referring to politics of the day. He even changed the protocol of such functions by letting Mukherjee have the last word. Inviting someone who was known to be opposed to the RSS ideology for a long time was itself a good and bold initiative and the event did create a buzz with the RSS receiving an unprecedented national focus and mileage.
------
Political difference are bound to remain and so does the approach to the problems but there is no other way than to work together for the common good of the country and the society.
------
While it is true that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, it is also important to bury the ghosts of the past and look forward to a new and vibrant India.

It is obvious that the leaders of RSS-BJP squirm in their seats whenever others refer to the apology letters of Vir Sawarkar to the British rulers and the questionable actions of its leaders during the freedom struggle. Similarly there is little that the Congress can defend for imposing Emergency and curtailing fundamental rights of citizens. It also has no defence for allowing the 1984 massacre of Sikhs and does not have a sparkling history of a truly democratic political party.
 
But it is time to reconcile with the past and move on. As stated above, no aspersions can be cast on any of the major political parties over sincerity and efforts to take India forward. Differences lie in the approach and ideology. There is need to debate and discuss issue threadbare in the interest of the nation and in a spirit of give and take. Political difference are bound to remain and so does the approach to the problems but there is no other way than to work together for the common good of the country and the society.

Mukherjee’s visit to the RSS headquarters and making his point will be a subject for political debates for a long time to come. Even though Mukherjee was not representing Congress or any other party, his presence and speech have signalled that no major party or organisation is ‘untouchable’. It would prove a great success if the visit is able to calm down political rhetoric and lead to a more mature discourse.

 

*(The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career. This article was also published by lokmarg.com and is being reproduced here with the due permission of the author. - Ed)


 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles: 

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

SARKAR IN MANALI: From Shahkot to Mohali Court, Sara Alam Bigrra Jaye

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

SIKHS & FEMINISTS – We hailed Harjit Sajjan; they didn’t hail Gina Haspel

AFTER BEING RAPED, I WAS WOUNDED; MY HONOUR WAS NOT

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WE MISSED A REVOLUTION, BUT CAN IT STILL BE A GAME CHANGER?

A POLITICIAN SPEAKS – YOU SHOULD HEAR

ENCOUNTER, JULOOS & SELFIES

SOWING ANGER - NO QUICK FIX - Democracy is an Empty Ritual in Punjab

OUT-OF-BOX SOLUTION TO STOP FARMERS' SUICIDES

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

'THORRI BAHUTI EHNA NU SHARAM AUNI CHAHEEDI HAI'

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON SUICIDE-HIT BATS FOR AARHTIYAS

RANGROOT OFFERS A PEEK INTO PUNJAB'S TRAGEDY

WHAT MAKE NEWS IN INDIA, AND WHAT DOES NOT?

HITLER, MODI & GANDHI: ON THE SAME PAGE?

PUNJAB IS STILL VERY FAR FROM INDIA

APOLOGY – AKALIS BIG LOSER, CONG TOO 

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

SUPER EFFICIENCY ONBOARD CM’S CHOPPER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties: The Coordinated Silence of Amarinder Singh & Badals

PM MODI VINDICATES PUNJAB TODAY REPORTAGE

NEW DELHI V/S OTTAWA — WILL QUEBEC DEFEAT INDIA?        

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA - Trudeau came to Punjab, pushed Amarinder closer to BJP, then called him a liar

JASPAL ATWAL CONTROVERSY: Mr. Ujjal, will you throw some light on this too?   

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

J&K – RAM MADHAV LEAVES SPACE FOR MEHBOOBA’S POLITICS

SHEKHAR GUPTA'S HALF-BAKED TRUTHS 

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES - Karze Ne Layee Ikk Hor Kisan Di Jaan...

PNB Scam: Who is Nirav Choksi and what he is doing In the name of God?

Congress upset due to Priyanka’s cleavage on calendar 

RENUKA'S LAUGHTER: Thank you for your guffaws. We needed this non-violent weapon.

MR CLEAN to PAKKE DHEETH: How Punjab’s Congress hurt Brand Rahul Gandhi? 

MANJIT SINGH CALCUTTA– THE DISSENTER

PUNJAB FARMERS AND IPL CRICKETERS - Finally, they can stand like equals

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION. My teacher is not alive, but you please call it off!

SUKHBIR IS RIGHT – On 97th anniversary  Panth Khatre Vich Hai. Where does this threat come from?

THE FINAL HONESTY CERTIFICATE: ISSUED BY THE TRIBUNE

NO TIME TO READ THIS STORY? – That’s OK - Please do not feel guilty 

BAD, BAD WOMAN! – Punjab’s top playwright slams woman complainant against Langah

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL – On Amod Kanth’s badge of shame

RELAX! ALL 30 WERE DERA PREMIS – Panchkula says something stinking about its conscience

PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT


 






Comment

your name*

email address*

comments*
You may use these HTML tags:<p> <u> <i> <b> <strong> <del> <code> <hr> <em> <ul> <li> <ol> <span> <div>

verification code*
 







MOST VISITED
YOU MAY LIKE

TOPIC CLOUD

TAGS CLOUD

ARCHIVE



Copyright © 2016-2017







NEWS LETTER