A second time in two years, famed industrialist Ratan Tata will be sharing dais with Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on August 24 Bhagwat at an event in Mumbai.

In 2016, Tata had paid a surprise visit to Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat at the RSS's Nagpur headquarters.

Earlier this year, former President of India and senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee embarrassed the Congress leadership by gracing a Sangh event in Nagpur headquarters of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

According to the RSS, Tata and Bhagwat will attend an event organised by the Nana Palkar Smriti Samiti in Mumbai on 24 August.

The samiti, an NGO named after Sangh pracharak Nana Palkar, is located in the vicinity of the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai and has been engaged in helping the cancer patients from the hospital.

The event on 24 August event will conclude the centenary year celebrations of Palkar.

RSS's history of engangement with influential non-Sanghis

RSS has a special outreach cell — Vishesh Sampark Vibhag — to reach out to political heavyweights from across the ideological spectrum. The central idea behind the outreach is to get acquainted with the political-social work of others and give them a first-hand-experience of RSS’ own initiatives.

While to the detractors of the Sangh, Mahatma Gandhi’s pluralism and non-violence do not go well with RSS’ Hindutva, Gandhi attended RSS camp at Wardha in 1934. Ghanshyamdas Birla had accompanied him.

Dalit icon Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar visited the education function of RSS in 1939.

Gandhi addressed Sangh members on 16 September 1947 in Delhi. According to the Sangh, he had praised the discipline and simplicity Sangh. Reportedly he had said that last time he was at RSS camp the founder of RSS was alive.

Former president of India Dr Zakir Hussain participated in an RSS event, too.

General and Field Marshal Cariappa also participated in the RSS event in 1959.

Jayaprakash Narayan, fondly called JP by activists of the anti-Emergency movement, graced an RSS event. He addressed swayamsevaks in Patna in 1977.

Then PM Indira Gandhi had unveiled the Vivekanand Rock Memorial in 1977 on the invitation of RSS functionary Eknath Ranade.

Ratan Tata paid surprise visit to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at the Nagpur headquarters in 2016.  

“Everyone who comes may not join the Sangh, but it surely helps them to understand Sangh better,” said RSS ideologue Manmohan Vaidya had said when former President Mukherjee's imminent visit to the RSS headquarters made national news.

Citing examples of people from Congress and other parties who have attended events organised by the RSS in the past, another functionary had said at the time, “In 1990, BJP’s Prabhat Singh Chauhan and a Congress MLA attended an RSS function in the presence of Sarsanghachalak Balasaheb Deoras. In 2010, at Kollam in Kerala, a local mayor and a Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader were invited to inaugurate the RSS office.”