The Vice President of India M.Venkaiah Naidu has said that any attempt to create differences in the name of religion by vested interests and religious extremists must be nipped in the bud. He was addressing the members of Parsi community at the holy Town of Udvada in Daman on Monday during the revered Iranshah Udvada Utsav, 2017.
Addressing the gathering, Naidu said that Parsi community has made invaluable contribution to the country’s growth and progress in diverse fields from atomic energy to pharmaceuticals.
“I am proud of my country, India, for having produced the splendid Zoroastrian stock, in numbers beneath contempt, but in charity and philanthropy perhaps unequalled and certainly unsurpassed”, he said quoting Mahatma Gandhi who hailed the contributions of Parsi community members.
The Vice President said that India’s syncretic culture and ethos form the basis of the country’s secularism.
“In fact, I have been saying that secularism was in the DNA of every Indian much before it was enshrined in the Constitution. ‘Sarva Dharma Sama Bhava’ epitomizes India’s secular ethos. India is a land of diverse cultures and religions,” he said.
The vice president also underlined that the values of tolerance and respect for all religions have been part of Indian ethos from times immemorial.
“ The secular foundations of the country must be strengthened further and any attempt to create differences in the name of religion by vested interests and religious extremists must be nipped in the bud,” he said.
Vice President Naidu, who reached Udvada, Zoroastrian Atash Behram on Monday morning, visited the fire temple, and offered prayers.
On a four day visit to Hyderabad, Shirdi, Mumbai and Udvada, he concluded his visits on Monday.