Tolerance has to become an essential national virtue: Ansari
Tolerance has to become an essential national virtue to promote harmony transcending sectional diversities, Vice-President M Hamid Ansari said on Sunday.
Tolerance is a pragmatic formula for the functioning of society without conflict between different religions and political ideologies, among others, he said speaking at the 25th annual convocation of the National Law School of India University here.
Yet, he said, tolerance alone is not a strong enough foundation for building an inclusive and pluralistic society and it must be coupled with "understanding and acceptance".
In this regard, he recalled Swami Vivekananda's words, "We must, not only tolerate other religions, but positively embrace them, as truth is the basis of all religions."
The Vice-President said the challenge today is to reiterate and rejuvenate secularism's basic principles, including freedom of religion and tolerance.
The challenge also is to emphasise that equality has to be substantive, that freedom of religion be re-infused with its collectivist dimensions,
"Also toleration should be reflective of the realities of Indian society and lead to acceptance," he said.
Further, Ansari said the "version of nationalism" that places cultural commitments at its core promotes intolerance and arrogant patriotism.
"The version of nationalism that places cultural commitments at its core is usually perceived as the most conservative and illiberal form of nationalism. It promotes intolerance and arrogant patriotism,"
Ansari also said the manifestation of the alternate viewpoint of "purifying exclusivism" threatens to rule out any dissent, however innocent.
"More recently an alternate viewpoint of 'purifying exclusivism' has tended to intrude into and take over the political and cultural landscape," he said.
"One manifestation of it is an increasingly fragile national ego that threatens to rule out any dissent, however innocent," he added.
Hyper-nationalism and closing of mind is also a manifestation of insecurity about one's place in the world, the vice-president said.