RSS chief’s focus was pragmatic — Pranabda’s was idealistic

The hype over Congress accepting the RSS’s invitation to attend an annual function evaporated at the end of that event.

Rss Chief’s Focus Was Pragmatic ---Pranabda's Was Idealistic
Rss Chief’s Focus Was Pragmatic ---Pranabda's Was Idealistic

In contrast to Pranabda ‘s idealism, was the pragmatism of Mohan Bhagwat when he said, “Irrespective of our diversity, we have to know that our ancestors were the same.”

Ultimately, it was a case of much ado about nothing. The hype over the much-hyped fear of the Congress accepting the RSS’s invitation to attend an annual function evaporated at the end of that event. In fact, the Congress cheered that Pranab Mukherjee’s speech had mentioned that “The soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance” and that “India’s Nationhood is not one language, one religion, one enemy.” The Congress deemed those sentences as a big slap to the RSS’s Hindu ideology which they hate so much. Perhaps they also thought that the two sentences were a pat and an applause for the Congress’s secularism, whatever that word means to them.

There’s the mention of a name which has rarely, if ever, been uttered by the Sonia Gandhi generation’s Congress.

That cheer from the Congress to Mukherjee’s speech is an evidence of how, under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, the Congress has become blind to “silent” messaging. They overlooked the fact that 83-year-old Mukherjee, the tallest Congress leader in recent decades, had, prior to his speech, showered flower petals on the RSS by paying a written homage to its founder Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar (1 April 1889 – 21 June 1940), who, after being disillusioned with the politics and policies of the Congress, left that party and founded the RSS in Nagpur in 1925, with the intention of promoting the concept of a united India, rooted in Hinduism ideology. They also forgot that Pranabda not only showered flowers on Dr Hedgewar’s portrait but also paid a written homage to him, calling him “a proud son of Mother India.” And this was repeatedly shown live on Indian television.

Then there’s the mention of a name which has rarely, if ever, been uttered by the Sonia Gandhi generation’s Congress. In Pranabda’s speech at Nagpur on June 7, He lauded Sardar Vallabhai Patel, because of whose efforts “the Princely States merged leading to the consolidation of India.” Ironically, Sardar Patel was bestowed the Bharat Ratna award 41 years after his death in 1950. That award came courtesy of the true patriot, Narasimha Rao, a Congressman who, strangely, was treated very ungraciously after his demise by the Sonia Gandhi brand of Congress.

The Congress also overlooked that in the capsule of history before he dwelt at length on the way our country’s 5000-year-old civilizational continuity was transformed into the present Union of India, Pranabda mentioned Bal Gangadhar Tilak (23 July 1856 – 1 August 1920) as one who “gave voice to the phrase…”Swaraj is my Birthright and I shall have it”. Note that he did not mention Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, always referred to as “the father of the Nation.” And, just in case the Congress of today didn’t know, Tilak was not of the Congress. He only formed a close alliance with many Indian National Congress leaders. He was the first leader of the Indian Independence Movement. The British colonial authorities called him “The father of the Indian unrest.”

An important feature of his Presidential term was his rebuking of intolerance in our society. At least one Presidential address of his was on that issue. Now, in retirement, Pranabda is talking of “tolerance” and not “intolerance.” And, brought a rich and emotional idealism in his speech when he said: “The construct of Indian nationalism is ‘Constitutional Patriotism’, which consists of an appreciation of our inherited and shared diversity; a readiness to enact one’s citizenship at different levels; the ability to self-correct and learn from others.”

In fact, sharing “some truths that I have internalized during my fifty-year-long public life, as a Parliamentarian and Administrator,” he told the audience that “India’s Nationhood is not one language, one religion, one enemy. It is the ‘Perennial Universalism‘ of 1.3 billion people who use more than 122 languages and 1600 dialects in their everyday lives, practice 7 major religions, belong to 3 major ethnic groups- Aryans, Mongoloids, and Dravidians live under one system, one flag and one identity of being ‘Bhartiya’ and have ‘No Enemies‘. That is what makes Bharat a diverse and united nation.”

“Hindus are not just a majority. They are answerable for the country’s future.”

The height of this idealism was his statement that “Divergent strands in public discourse have to be recognized. We may argue, we may agree or we may not agree. But we cannot deny the essential prevalence of multiplicity of opinion. Only through a dialogue can we develop the understanding to solve complex problems without an unhealthy strife within our polity.

In contrast to this idealism, was the pragmatism of what Mohan Bhagwat, the RSS Chief, had said in his address preceding Pranabda’s speech.

Irrespective of our diversity,” he said, “we have to know that our ancestors were the same. Hindus are not just a majority. They are answerable for the country’s future.”

“Diversity is our hallmark. The difference of opinion is natural but it has a certain limit. We must come together for a common goal while keeping our diversity intact. Diversity is beautiful but it has to lead us to unity at the end.”

That is the punch that must make all of us think of solutions; those
solutions which are available in a true democracy in action, regardless of caste, creed and what have you outside that democratic framework in our Constitution.

1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Arvind Lavakare has been a freelance writer since 1957. He has written and spoken on sports on radio and TV. He currently writes on political issues regularly. His writings include a book on Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

His freelancing career began in "The Times of India" with a sports article published when he was a month shy of 20 years of age. He was also a regular political affairs columnist first for for five years or so and then shifted to He also wrote extensively for "till it stopped publication."
Arvind Lavakare


  1. What I really liked about the article is “Hindus are not a majority. They are answerable for the country’s future” Congress will never realize this aspect. For them what is important is power. Power at any cost.

  2. Reasoning and arriving at solutions has vanished from the life of Indians. Anything and everything is wanted yesterday for tomorrow’s solutions . Patience which indeed is a great virtue does not exist any more.
    A tragedy which is what Sri Narendrabhai is truly and very sincerely trying to correct and resurrect.
    I would suggest the reading of “The Innovation Republic to everyone who loves Mother India on the way Our P.M. Is working towards this goal.
    A beautiful article indeed Sir.

  3. “Irrespective of our diversity,” he said, “we have to know that our ancestors were the same. Hindus are not just a majority. They are answerable for the country’s future.” In this simple lines Pranabda has dictated the roles and responsibilities of being HINDU. Hindu India is responsible for what happens to Mother India and Hindus needs to take a cue from this lines to be more discerning in how they conduct themselves in securing India’s future.

    • Correction; I meant to say “Mohan Bhagwat and not Pranabda who has dictated the roles….”
      Thanks Arvind Lavakarre, really appreciate this.

  4. The ONLY solution for MAINTAINING BHARAT’s UNITY & INTEGRITY & ENSURING ITS FASTER DEVELOPMENT IN ALL ECONOMIC & SPIRITUAL SPHERES lies in the quicker elimination of Khangress from the entire political arena, which are being done meticulously by Sonia Maino-Raul Vincie duo and they will be no where after May 2019. That day is the real independence day for the people of Bharat.

  5. This guy Mohan Bhagawat is a disgrace to RSS and seems more like business , politician a kind Niira Radia sibling. Stupid RSS ppl unnecessarily created scene and hyped Pranab as if a new hero born . His sins cleared bcz he was with Mohan Bhagawat the pshyco !
    In this process they insulted the great patriot and Hindu Saint Rajiv Malhotra . Current RSS leaders like BJP are filled with As******* .Feel sad about misusing Rajiv Malhotra like this.


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