Diversity at the heart of Indian civilisation: Pranab

Diversity at the heart of Indian civilisation: Pranab

PTI file photo

Former president Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday stressed the need for cherishing and protecting the diversity of the Indian culture and civilisation and called for greater tolerance and acceptance of difference.

Speaking as the chief guest at an event in St Joseph's Institute of Management, the president said India has emerged from darkness with great effort to become a country seeking donations from rich countries in the early decades after attaining freedom to becoming a donor.

“However, there are aberrations. I feel pained and anguished when I look at the television and newspapers which capture the atrocities on innocents. Because we live in a land which preached the principle of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam 5000 years ago,” he said.

Noting that diversity was at the heart of the largest functional democracy, he said lack of acceptance and respect towards diversity will make India an artificial unity.

The former president also spoke about the rise of protectionism, which is affecting the declarations made by countries regarding world trade. One country may benefit from it (protectionism). But we should not accept such artificial barriers, which hurt many, he said.

“Constitution has kept us together. A few months, we are going to have a general election where more than 900 million people will exercise their franchise to elect 543 members of Lok Sabha,” he said, calling upon the younger generation to find solutions to fix the aberrations.