Secularism is “safe” in India because it is in the DNA of its people, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said on Tuesday, as he stressed on telling the new generation about Indian culture of living in harmony.
He also said the duty of the majority community is to win over minorities and the duty of the minority community is to think in terms of nation first.
Delivering the 10th annual lecture of the National Commission for Minorities, he said India has no history of attacking any country, while there were countries which attacked and looted it. The theme of the lecture was ‘Minorities in Nation Building’.
Noting that Indian civilisation has survived despite such attacks and invasions because it always believed in harmony, he said the new generation should be reminded about the Indian culture and heritage.
“Let me make it very clear and share my thoughts. Secularism is safe in India not simply because of the Constitition… Secularism is safe in India because secularism is in the DNA of Indian people,” Naidu said.
He said when he was in politics, he had always said that one should keep the interest of the nation first, party next and self last. Naidu, however, said unfortunately for some people the last has become the first.
The vice president said there should be “no feeling of minority and majority”. “We are all one… duty of majority community is to win over minority and the duty of the minority community also is to think in terms of nation first,” he said.
Stressing that “development with dignity” of all the people must be the agenda of the nation, he said bringing a bill in the Parliament won’t change much unless there is political will and administrative skill.
The vice president said the notion of pluralism, inclusion and peaceful co-existence have to be the cornerstones of Indian governance.
He said the minority commission is mandated to suggest and devise appropriate measures for their socio-economic development of minorities.
The commission has the underlying principle of inclusive growth ensuring that the benefits of political democracy reach those who are likely to be left out, he added.
Those present on the occasion included Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
(With inputs from PTI)