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“Unity in diversity is basis for India”

Staff Reporter

— PHOTO: G. KARTHIKEYAN.

TALK: Former Minister Mani Shankar Aiyer at a workshop at Gandhigram on Friday.

DINDIGUL: Secularism prevails in India only because people living in different regions not only respect culture, tradition, language and festivals of theirs and others in different regions but also celebrate them wholeheartedly.

Practice of this system by generation after generation all over the country keeps secularism alive, according to Mani Shankar Aiyer, former Central Minister for Petroleum and Panchayat Raj.

He was delivering a valedictory address in a workshop on inclusive democracy secularism and communal harmony held at Gandhigram Rural University here on Friday.

Indians have been giving respect to individual identity and recognising and respecting others’ identities also. It is not only a tolerance but also celebration of those individual identities.

Unity in diversity is basis for India, he added.

Elaborating on ancient world history and its link with Indian tradition, culture and history, Mr. Aiyer said India has the maximum number of Hindus, second largest Muslim population and has ancient Christian traditions. Many Tamils did not know Kashmiri language and they could not even taste Kashmiri food. Similarly, Kashmir people did not know many things, including Tamil language. There were a lot of differences in dance and music forms. Still, both respected each others’ culture and tradition and enjoy culture of each others, he pointed.

“Students should think what kind of society they need in future and what kind of India they would like to create.”

Centre for Study of Society and Secularism Executive Director Vasundara Mohan and others spoke.

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