Liberal view of the outside world is vital: Manmohan
New Delhi, March 4 (PTI): Decrying the tendency to be suspicious of foreign influences, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday asked people to take a more liberal view of the outside world while deriving confidence from the "greatness of our past."
"Why should we be inward-looking and suspicious of foreign influences when we have so much to offer to the world?" he wondered while releasing the book "Cultural Heritage of India" edited by eminent art historian, Kapila Vatsyayan.
Emphasising the need to defeat forces that believed in an "exclusivist" culture, he asked "people to take a more liberal view of the outside world."
Singh contested remarks in the media by some who thought that China was a closed society with an open mind and held the reverse true for India.
"This should not be the case. We must derive confidence from the greatness of our past to be able to deal more confidently with the present and the challenges of the future," he said.
Singh also spoke about the pluralistic values of Indian culture which, he said, have proved resilient enough to withstand the test of time and impact of change.
Describing Swami Vivekananda and Swami Ranganathananda as leaders with a modern mind and scientific temper, he said they rejected bigotry and ritualism as well as "inward and backward looking views of our destiny on this planet."
"Rather, they looked ahead and sought inspiration from our past in facing the challenges of a changing world," he said.