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Raghuram Rajan invited to World Hindu Congress in Chicago amid row over RSS invite to Pranab Mukherjee

Amid an ongoing row over former President and Congress leader Pranab Mukherjees scheduled presence as chief guest at a key RSS event in Nagpur on June 7 this year, the Sangh Parivar has invited former Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan as a speaker at the upcoming World Hindu Congress scheduled to be held in Chicago between September 7 and September 9 this year. The World Hindu Congress is the apex organisation of which the VHP, RSS and other groups are a part. Speaking to FinancialExpress.com, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) today confirmed that the former RBI Governor has been invited to the World Hindu Congress that will be held to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Swamy Vivekanands historic address to the Parliament of the World Religions on September 11, 1983. VHP leader Swami Vigyananand and spokesperson Vinod Bansal have confirmed to FinancialExpress.com that Rajan has been invited to the event as a speaker but a confirmation is still awaited. Bansal said that the event is being organised by the World Hindu Congress where several meetings will be held on an array of issues. He said that the World Hindu Economic Forum is hosting a conference where Rajan and other prominent economists across the world have been invited to throw light on the current state of the world economy. He said that a confirmation from Rajans end is still awaited. Notably, Rajan has often drawn criticism of the RSS and other right-wing groups in the past. However, Bansal said that the VHP doesnt discriminate with people based on their view and ideology. He added that the He said that Rajan stays in Chicago and expressed confidence that he will surely attend the event. An invitation has been extended to him, it is up to him whether to attend or not. He lives in Chicago and has been mentoring students after vacating the post of RBI Governor. Vigyananand added that they are organising this event to mark the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekanands most talked about speech which he had delivered twenty-five years ago in Chicago. The second World Hindu Congress is expected to witness the participation of delegates from different countries who will brainstorm on a host of issues including the economy, education among others. The first World Hindu Congress was held in November 2014 that had seen 1,800 delegates from 53 countries taking part. Like the 2014 event, conferences will be held on various issues like economy, education, media, women and youth among others this time as well. Responding to a question on the ongoing row over former President Pranab Mukherjee being invited for an RSS event, Bansal said, When Mahatma Gandhi had made a voluntary visit the RSS Wardha camp, he had praised the outfit for its services to eradicate the caste taboo. It has been a long practice in RSS not to tell your caste. When Gandhiji saw children sitting in the row, he asked their name, no one told him their title. He was impressed and said the RSS is making his dream come true. Let the political parties do politics, this is no way concerned to the Sangh.