President of the Union Pranab Mukherjee has once again called for preserving the multiplicity and pluralistic character of the country. Speaking at the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Delhi High Court in the national capital, President underlined that India has thrived due to its power of assimilation and tolerance.
In the last three weeks alone, President Mukherjee had on a number of occasions spoken against growing intolerance.
“Our country has thrived due to its power of assimilation and tolerance. Our pluralistic character has stood the test of time. Our ancient civilisation has over the centuries accommodated our diversities,” the President said.
“Multiplicity is our collective strength which must be preserved at all costs. It finds reflection in the various provisions of our Constitution,” he added addressing the gathering which was attended by Chief Justice of India HL Dattu, Chief Justice of Delhi High Court G Rohini, Lt Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Earlier, in the wake of the Dadri lynching and subsequent incidents that termed as attack on freedom of thought, the President had asked a question whether tolerance and acceptance of dissent are on the wane in the country during a function at his home town at Suri in West Bengal on October 19. That was followed by an appeal to people for practising tolerance and to accept differences while respecting dissenting opinions.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also endorsed the President’s remarks and asked people to ignore rabble rousing by leaders and fringe elements.
The President’s appeals came against the backdrop of lynching incident in Dadri in which a Muslim was killed on suspicion of eating beef, and a string of incidents like the one in Mumbai where the ruling BJP’s ally Shiv Sena forced cancellation of a music concert by Pakistani legend Ghulam Ali and talks between Indian and Pakistani cricket board Chiefs and blackened the face of Sudheendra Kulkarni.
The incidents of killing of a truck conductor in Udhampur in Jammu region and one man in Himachal Pradesh on suspicion of cow smuggling had also raised concerns about the rising intolerance.
(With inputs from the PTI)