Much has been said about former President Pranab Mukherjee’s decision to attend the graduation ceremony for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh workers at Nagpur on Thursday. His speech at the RSS headquarters, where he stressed on diversity as the country’s hallmark while also praising the organisation’s founder KB Hedgewar as the “great son of Mother India”, gave an opportunity to leaders on both sides of the ideological divide to claim they had been vindicated.
The Congress, which had cautioned him against attending the event earlier, said on Friday that Mukherjee had shown the RSS the “mirror of truth”. The RSS, meanwhile, contended that the Congress veteran’s speech was in sync with its beliefs.
Apart from party lines, Mukherjee’s acceptance of the RSS’ invite was controversial because the organisation, which has stressed that India is a Hindu country, is considered an ideological opponent to the Congress as well as those who have been stressing on the country’s secular credentials. Mukherjee’s seeming betrayal of the liberal agenda was captured by Twitter users in the way they know best – through humour and sarcasm.
Some Twitter users also offered insights into Mukherjee’s reasons for attending the RSS event.
On the other side, as many pointed out, Mukherjee’s presence transformed a routine RSS event into the biggest news story of the day.
Some weighed in on the Congress’ complaints that the tricolour was not hoisted at the event and the national anthem was not played.
In the midst of all the debate, journalist Vir Sanghvi summed things up.