Amid heated debates and controversy over former president and Congress veteran Pranab Mukherjee attending the RSS event, its chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday said the debate was "meaningless" and “no one is an outsider” for the organisation.
Attending the RSS event would not change Mukherjee’s identity nor the Sangh, and inviting prominent people to its event is the norm of the RSS, Bhagwat said, addressing the event in Nagpur.
The RSS chief then said no one was an outsider for the organisation, that people may have different views but they are all children of mother India.
Earlier in the day, Mukherjee visited the birthplace of the RSS founding Sarsanghachalak, and described Keshav Baliram Hedgewar as a "great son of Mother India.
Those present at the event included former prime minister Lal Bahadu Shastri's son Sunil Shastri, as also Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's nephew Ardhendu Bose along with his wife and son.
"Today I came here to pay my respect and homage to a great son of Mother India," Mukherjee wrote in the visitor's book at Hedgewar's birthplace.
Tio the surprise of many, the RSS invited Mukherjee to address its Shiksha Varg and attend a parade by the Sangh workers on completion of the training camp, meant for swayamsevaks in their third year in the organisation. The RSS holds training camps for first, second and third-year swayamsewaks.
Mukherjee's decision to attend the RSS event sparked off a major political opposition, with several Congress leaders criticising the decision.