Nation

President Pranab Mukherjee advocates credos of tolerance, non-violence and pluralism in last address

July 25, 2017 01:04 AM

NEW DELHI: As he demits office as the 13th President of India, Pranab Mukherjee advocated the credos of tolerance, non-violence and pluralism in his last address to the nation on Monday.

Highlighting the multiplicity in culture, faith and language which makes India special, the President asserted that while divergent opinion may exist, acceptance of such difference must prevail for a cohesive existence.

"We must free our public discourse from all forms of violence, physical as well as verbal. Only a non-violent society can ensure the participation of all sections of the people in the democratic process," President Mukherjee said.

He, a former lecturer, reiterated that education is the catalyst which will bring about this much needed change in Indian society and to this end, creative thinking, innovation and scientific temper has to be promoted in institutions of higher learning.

"As I had said on assuming Office of the President, education is the alchemy that can take India to its next golden age. A reordering of society is possible through the transformative power of education. Our universities should not be a place for rote-memorizing but an assembly of inquisitive minds," he said.

Highlighting the multiplicity in culture, faith and language which makes India special, the President asserted that while divergent opinion may exist, acceptance of such difference must prevail for a cohesive existence.

"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," Mukherjee said.


"Eradication of poverty would provide a strong boost to happiness. A sustainable environment would prevent damage to planetary resources. Social inclusion would ensure access to the fruits of progress to all," he pointed out.

Visibly emotional, Mukherjee said he'll be forever grateful to the people of India for the love, respect and adulation he has received from them.

 Mukherjee completes his five-year term as President on Monday. President-elect Ram Nath Kovind, former Bihar Governor, will assume office from Tuesday.

 

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