Information technology company HCL’s founder Shiv Nadar was the chief guest at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Vijayadashami function in Nagpur on Tuesday, PTI reported. This is reportedly the first time a corporate leader was invited to the event, according to Business Standard.

“The country faces many challenges but the government alone cannot solve the problems,” Nadar said at the event in Nagpur. “Private sector, citizens, NGOs must also contribute to overcome these challenges.”

Nadar’s visit to the RSS headquarters came a day after information technology giant Wipro’s founder Azim Premji paid tributes at the memorial of KB Hedgewar, who established the right-wing organisation. Premji also had a half-an-hour discussion with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

The Wipro founder is a known philanthropist who transformed a small hydrogenated cooking fat company to a $8.5 billion international multinational corporation. In 2015, he had participated in the ‘’Rashtriya Sewa Sangam’’ – a conclave of non-governmental organisations convened by the RSS. However, he clarified that he was not promoting anyone by attending the event.

Nadar and Premji are not the only top industrialists to visit the Hindu nationalist organisation in recent times. Last month, industrialist Rahul Bajaj paid homage at Hedgewar’s memorial. Former Tata Sons Chairperson Ratan Tata has also visited the organisation’s headquarters and met Bhagwat, according to IANS. Tata met Bhagwat during a visit to Nagpur in April. In December 2016, he had visited the RSS headquarters, and the following year he shared the stage with Bhagwat at an event in Mumbai on the birth anniversary of the late Sangh leader Nana Palkar.

The RSS has established a “liaison department” that contacts noted personalities from different parts of India to increase its influence among them, IANS reported.

“The liaison department is working as an engine in the expansion of the Sangh,” said Nagpur-based Sangh ideologue Dilip Deodhar. “A few days ago, actor Mithun Chakraborty also arrived in Reshimbagh to pay homage to the memorial of the Sangh founder Hedgewar.”

Meeting with international media

Last month, Bhagwat met journalists working for the international press to articulate the RSS position on matters related to Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status, the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, the nationwide ban on cow slaughter, and other topics. It was an off-camera and off-the-record briefing, and went on for almost two-and-a-half hours.

The meeting came months after sections of the international media criticised German envoy Walter Linder for visiting the RSS headquarters. The Turkey-based TRT World had then called the RSS a “powerful Hindu far-right group” while The Jerusalem Post published a report calling the organisation a “fascist Indian group”.

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