“We derive our strength from tolerance. We accept and respect our pluralism. We celebrate our diversity. Any attempt at defining our nationhood in terms of dogmas and identities of religion, region, hatred and intolerance will only lead to dilution of our national identity”, “The Constitution of India represents the hopes and aspirations of a billion plus Indians. From our Constitution flows our nationalism. The construct of Indian Nationalism is Constitutional Patriotism”, are some of the excerpts from Pranab Mukherjee’s address to the RSS workers in Nagpur.
Now this speech, loaded with political messaging, has sent quite some explicit and implicit messaging across the nation including politicians, journalists, citizens and more. What could it mean? Is the former President hinting at his Prime Ministerial ambitions? Or we are reading too much into it? Why did he refer someone like Hedgewar as great son of India in a time we are already battling so much polarisation and communalism?
Read Also, Pranab Mukherjee’s Historical Speech at RSS Platform June 8, 2018
“Today I came here to pay my respects & homage to a great son of Mother India KB Hedgewarji” perhaps remains and will remain for a long time to come a rather important statement made by a politician of this clout and experience. What are the ulterior motives, if any? Why not choose words carefully?
There is a lot of buzz at the moment and political pundits are dissecting the speech, the said and unsaid and we shall know in the times to come how it pans out. But one thing is clear this is a very important development in the run up to the general elections 2019 and the battlelines have been drawn.
2019 will be a historic election in Indian democracy and it will be too soon to call it out in any one’s favour at the moment. The stage is set.
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