New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) The RSS said on Tuesday that former President Pranab Mukherjee had accepted its invitation to attend a function at its headquarters in Nagpur on June 7 and the acceptance was not “surprising”.
In a statement here, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Narender Kumar said that Mukherjee will be the chief guest at the concluding function of “Tritiya Varsh Varg” or third-year course and address the ‘swayamsevaks’.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will be the main speaker.
“Those who know the sangh and understand it, it is not surprising for them or nothing new. It is normal for them because the RSS has been inviting prominent persons and those engaged in social service. This time, the RSS invited Dr Pranab Mukherjee and it is his greatness to have accepted the invitation,” an RSS statement said.
Mukherjee was associated with the Congress for several decades before he became the President in 2012.
The organisation said that the 25-day “Tritiya Varsh Varg” is held every year at Nagpur in which members from all over the country take part for training.
“This year, it started on May 14 and will conclude on June 7, with 709 swayamsevaks from different parts of the country in attendance.”
The statement said that even Mahatma Gandhi visited the RSS camp at Wardha and later stated that he was impressed by the “strict discipline, simplicity and lack of discrimination” in the organisation.
Former President Zakir Husain, socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan and General (later Field Marshal) K. M. Carriappa were other personalities who attended RSS events.
The statement said that independent India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had also invited the RSS to participate in the Republic Day parade in 1963, following its role during the 1962 war with China.
It said that the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri had invited the RSS to an all-party meeting during the 1965 war with Pakistan.
“The sangh is working for building an egalitarian society for the past 92 years and it is getting success. Those who agree with this thought and work come to the functions of sangh and cooperate in them,” the statement said.