Two ideologies, one idea -- ‘Bharat’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 Jun 2018 08:42:32


Staff Reporter,


Pranab-da, Mohan-ji strike common ground on nationalism

They represent two ideologies. Often, they are projected as different sides of the ‘divide’. However, on Thursday, they exhibited that they shared not only the common platform but also the common idea -- of ‘Bharat’.

Both of them -- former President of India Dr Pranab Mukherjee and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat -- from the dais of RSS at Nagpur, spoke on the rich cultural heritage, common values, and putting nation first beyond the usual divides. Both of them discussed the ideas of nation, nationalism, and patriotism.

Ahead of his speech from the RSS dais at the valedictory function of ‘Sangh Shiksha Varg-Trutiya Varsha’, Dr Mukherjee visited the residence of RSS founder Dr K B Hedgewar and wrote in the visitor’s book, “Today I came here to pay my respectful homage to a great son of Mother India, K B Hedgewarji.” Later, he also offered his tributes to Dr Hedgewar and Golwalkar Guruji at their memorials in Smruti Mandir premises.

Setting the tone of the discourse that was obviously aimed at striking common ground of understanding, Dr Mohan Bhagwat spoke on idea of ‘Bharat’ and how the founding fathers of India shaped it through the ages and cultural ethos. “Our biggest strength is in unity in diversity,” he stressed and elaborated how RSS had been consistently reaching out to diversities within the nation to unite them into a common identity. RSS wants to unite society as a whole and nobody is the ‘other’ for it, he added. Also, he dubbed the controversy over Dr Mukherjee’s accepting RSS’ invite as ‘meaningless’. Referring to cultivation of ‘democratic mind’, he informed the gathering how RSS was working towards shaping individuals to build nation.

Dr Mukherjee, in his speech, shared his understanding of the ‘intricately intertwined’ concepts of nation, nationalism and patriotism in context of India. He, too, traced the journey of ‘Bharat’ through the ages and spoke on the concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. “We derive our strength from tolerance, we accept pluralism, we celebrate diversity. We have collective consciousness,” he said. The ‘Citizen Mukherjee’ stressed that ‘the construct of Indian Nationalism is Constitutional Patriotism’. Like the RSS chief, he referred to the idea of democracy. He too underlined the need for having common agenda of nation-building, and added that happiness for all should be the common goal. He concluded his speech with ‘Jai Hind’ and ‘Vande Mataram’.

Both, Dr Pranab Mukherjee and Dr Mohan Bhagwat, did not make any political comment in their speeches. They highlighted values and ideas. In sum, both the speeches that attracted national attention, focussed on striking a common ground. Both might have been perceived to represent different ideologies, but they themselves attached a great importance to the spirit of diversity and accomodation, and the common idea of ‘Bharat’.