‘Tolerance for contrary views essential for pluralistic society’
Underlining that diversity is a "double-edged sword", President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said people, especially youth, should inculcate the values of tolerance, respect for contrary views and patience which are essential in a pluralistic society like India.
Pluralism and tolerance have been the hallmark of country's civilisation, he said, adding that India can thrive on its plurality if there is greater understanding and appreciation among countrymen about each other's cultures, tastes and habits. "Diversity is a double-edged sword. If all of us work together in harmony with unity of purpose, we can achieve tremendous heights as a nation. However, if different strands pull apart in different directions, it will only negate the good," he said.
"Let our diversity continue to be our strength," Mukherjee said. The President was speaking at the conclusion of the 10-day cultural festival 'Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav' organised by the Ministry of Culture. Quoting former Prime Minister late Jawharlal Nehru, who called India a country held together by strong, but invisible threads, Mukherjee said, the country is a "multi-faceted nation of 1.3 billion people, 122 languages, 1,600 dialects and seven religions and yet existing under one system, one flag, one Constitution and one type of administration."
"In a pluralistic society, the values of tolerance, respect for contrary views and patience are essential in our citizens, particularly the youth," he said.