New Delhi, Jun 7 (PTI) The Congress today asked the RSS and the BJP if they would change their "character, orientation, thought process" after accepting the sagacious advice of former president Pranab Mukherjee who, in his address to an RSS gathering, showed the mirror of truth to them.
Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said that Mukherjee, in his speech at RSS headquarter in Nagpur, reminded them of India's pluralism, tolerance, secularism and inclusiveness.
Mukherjee particularly highlighted the imperative to free public discourse from all forms of violence, besides putting compassion, harmony and non-violence as the centre stage of public life, Surjewala said.
Surjewala said Mukherjee, a Congress veteran, reminded the Modi government of following "rajdharma" founded upon diversity, non-violence, multi-culturalism and assimilation of ideas.
He also reminded the prime minister that happiness of people is the happiness of the ruler and their welfare is his welfare, indicating thereby the "unchecked exercise of authority and attack on institutions" in the garb of self-professed definition of pseudo- nationalism.
"Let the RSS and the BJP publicly commit today to change its character, orientation, thought process and path and accept the sagacious advice of their guest Pranab Mukherjee. It is time for (RSS chief) Mohan Bhagwat and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to answer. We await a reply," Surjewala said.
Surjewala said the former president has shown the mirror of truth of India's pluralism to the RSS and has reminded the RSS that India's beauty lies in its tolerance for difference ideas, religions and languages.
"Is RSS ready to admit its mistakes and ready to adapt India's pluralism, secularism and diversity? Will RSS give up its prejudice towards women and marginalised? Will it give up its inherent character of subjugation and violence?" he asked.
"Ex President's visit to RSS headquarters has caused widespread concern and debate amongst those who believe in India's foundational values.
"Pranab Mukherjee has shown 'Mirror of Truth' to RSS, to follow India's civilisational values. Will RSS and the prime minister change path and accept his sagacious advice?" he asked.
Mukherjee today warned that any attempt to define India through "religion, hatred, dogmas and intolerance" will dilute our existence and said public discourses must be freed of all forms of violence, as he addressed an RSS event despite criticism by the Congress and his family.
Asserting that India's identity has emerged through a long-drawn process of confluence, assimilation and co-existence, Mukherjee, in a strong-worded speech on 'nation, nationalism and patriotism' in context of Bharat, said India's soul resides in pluralism and tolerance.
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