New Delhi: Emphasizing the need to respect diversity of political thought, language and different regions of the country, Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Thursday said that the discussion over the invitation extended to former president Pranab Mukherjee was meaningless.

Addressing members of the RSS in Nagpur, Bhagwat said that the organization was working for the upliftment of all Indians and that it does not differentiate on the basis of language, regions, caste or religion. RSS is the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“It has been the tradition of the RSS to invite people for its functions. Discussions have happened which do not have any meaning. Why was he (Pranab Mukherjee) called? Why did he accept the invite? This discussion is meaningless. We invite people on this occasion every year," said Bhagwat.

The invitation to Mukherjee and his subsequent acceptance created a controversy and various leaders of the Congress party believe that Mukherjee should not have agreed to go for a meeting called by the RSS. The strongest opposition came from his daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee, who is a member of the Congress.

Stressing the need to respect diversity, Bhagwat said that everyone should come together and work for the betterment of the country. “We have accepted the diversity in the country and these differences on the basis of thought, language, regions and customs have been there in the country for long. Everyone has to come together to work for the country," Bhagwat added.

The RSS chief also said that diverse opinions on issues are natural and people should discuss all issues so that the correct path, which helps in the betterment of the society and the country, can be accepted by people.

“Our vision is that we are all one. Some people understand this but some people do not understand. Some people also understand it but choose not to work with us because they fear that it would not be in their best interest," the RSS chief added.

Bhagwat said it was the duty of the individuals and society to come together for the country. “Governments can do a lot of things but not everything. Society has to be ready and work for the country. The people of a nation play a very important role in transforming the face of the country."

Explaining the importance of being a member of the RSS to the audience, Bhagwat said that the organization works with the aim of ensuring the progress of the country.

“We have never refused anyone who wished to join our organization because this is not what our culture teaches us. Despite all the differences, everyone is a child of Bharat and should be accepted. We must remain united, irrespective of our diversity," he said.

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