President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday expressed apprehension whether tolerance and acceptance of dissent are on the wane and said that humanism and pluralism should not be abandoned under any circumstances.
The President was addressing a gathering in Birbhum district of West Bengal during a function organized by Nayaprajanma, a local weekly newspaper and Suri Sabujer Abhijan, a cultural organization.
The President reminded the audience of the teachings of Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa ‘Jato Mat Tato Path’ (As there are a number of beliefs, there are a number of ways).
“Assimilation through receiving is a characteristic of Indian society. Our collective strength must to be harnessed to resist evil powers in society,” he said.
The President said Indian civilization has survived for 5000 years because of its tolerance. He said that Indian civilization has always accepted dissent and differences.
“A large number of languages, 1600 dialects and 7 religions coexist in India. We have a Constitution that accommodates all these differences,” the President said.
Thousands of people, including many eminent personalities from different cross sections of society attended the ceremony.