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The soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance: Parting words of President Mukherjee

sabrangindia staff 25 Jul 2017

“The capacity for compassion and empathy is the true foundation of our civilization”.


The President's farewell. Image credit: News Nation

In his farewell address to the nation on July 24, President Pranab Mukherjee reminded fellow countrymen that “the soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance” and that “the capacity for compassion and empathy is the true foundation of our civilization”.

“India is not just a geographical entity,” he said. “It carries a history of ideas, philosophy, intellect, industrial genius, craft, innovation and experience. Plurality of our society has come about through assimilation of ideas over centuries. The multiplicity in culture, faith and language is what makes India special. We derive our strength from tolerance. It has been part of our collective consciousness for centuries. There are divergent strands in public discourse. We may argue, we may agree or we may not agree. But we cannot deny the essential prevalence of multiplicity of opinion. Otherwise, a fundamental character of our thought process will wither away”.

Pointing out that “the capacity for compassion and empathy is the true foundation of our civilization”, the President bemoaned the fact that “every day, we see increased violence around us. At the heart of this violence is darkness, fear and mistrust”.

Calling upon the need to “free our public discourse from all forms of violence, physical as well as verbal”, Mukherjee said: “Only a non-violent society can ensure the participation of all sections of the people, especially the marginalized and the dispossessed in the democratic process. Power of non-violence has to be resurrected to build a compassionate and caring society”.

In his short address, the President also stressed the importance of environmental protection, education (“the alchemy that can take India to its next golden age”) and empowerment of the poor through financial inclusion policies.

Speaking in support of dissenting voices, Mukherjee said: "Our universities should not be a place for rote-memorizing but an assembly of inquisitive minds. Creative thinking, innovation and scientific temper have to be promoted in our institutions of higher learning. It calls for application of logic through discussion, argument and analysis. These qualities have to be cultivated and autonomy of mind has to be encouraged".

Read the full address.

 

The soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance: Parting words of President Mukherjee

“The capacity for compassion and empathy is the true foundation of our civilization”.


The President's farewell. Image credit: News Nation

In his farewell address to the nation on July 24, President Pranab Mukherjee reminded fellow countrymen that “the soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance” and that “the capacity for compassion and empathy is the true foundation of our civilization”.

“India is not just a geographical entity,” he said. “It carries a history of ideas, philosophy, intellect, industrial genius, craft, innovation and experience. Plurality of our society has come about through assimilation of ideas over centuries. The multiplicity in culture, faith and language is what makes India special. We derive our strength from tolerance. It has been part of our collective consciousness for centuries. There are divergent strands in public discourse. We may argue, we may agree or we may not agree. But we cannot deny the essential prevalence of multiplicity of opinion. Otherwise, a fundamental character of our thought process will wither away”.

Pointing out that “the capacity for compassion and empathy is the true foundation of our civilization”, the President bemoaned the fact that “every day, we see increased violence around us. At the heart of this violence is darkness, fear and mistrust”.

Calling upon the need to “free our public discourse from all forms of violence, physical as well as verbal”, Mukherjee said: “Only a non-violent society can ensure the participation of all sections of the people, especially the marginalized and the dispossessed in the democratic process. Power of non-violence has to be resurrected to build a compassionate and caring society”.

In his short address, the President also stressed the importance of environmental protection, education (“the alchemy that can take India to its next golden age”) and empowerment of the poor through financial inclusion policies.

Speaking in support of dissenting voices, Mukherjee said: "Our universities should not be a place for rote-memorizing but an assembly of inquisitive minds. Creative thinking, innovation and scientific temper have to be promoted in our institutions of higher learning. It calls for application of logic through discussion, argument and analysis. These qualities have to be cultivated and autonomy of mind has to be encouraged".

Read the full address.

 

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