When Rajnath Singh’s speech in English charmed Shashi Tharoor: Here’s what Home Minister said

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New Delhi | Updated: May 2, 2018 1:03:50 PM

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's speech in Thiruvananthapuram at the civic reception for Philipose Mar Chrysostom, Metropolitan Emeritus of the Mar Thoma Church, appears to have charmed many.

rajnath singh speech
Rajnath Singh speaks at the Felicitation ceremony of Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom in Thiruvananthapuram. (Twitter/@rajnathsingh)

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s speech in Thiruvananthapuram at the civic reception for Philipose Mar Chrysostom, Metropolitan Emeritus of the Mar Thoma Church, appears to have charmed many, including Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who is himself popular for his speeches.

Tharoor found Singh’s speech “remarkable”. “Remarkable speech by @rajnathsingh at civic reception in Thiruvananthapuram for Rev Dr Philipose Mar Chrysostom, Metropolitan-Emeritus of the Mar Thoma Church, on the occasion of his birthday. Repeatedly affirmed the constitutional principle of equality & tolerance of all faiths,” the Congressman tweeted.

The Congress leader also had a piece of advice for Singh. “If he repeats the same message in Hindi in UP that he gave in English in Thiruvananthapuram, the future of this country would change for the better.”

The Indian Express reports today in its ‘Delhi Confidential’ column that one of the speakers at the event had called Singh – “most dignified minister.” Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan even sent a packet of sweets for the Union minister before he could reach the airport to leave for Delhi.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Singh had said: “Delighted to join the Felicitation ceremony of Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom in Thiruvananthapuram. Mar Chrysostom has been working for the development and well-being of the society for decades. India believes in tolerance and respect for all religions & ‘Sarva Dharm Sam Bhav’.”

Philipose Mar Chrysostom has just celebrated his 100th birthday. Here’s what Singh said at the event:

The Union minister said that the ancient Indian thought of respect for all faiths was the only way of ensuring peace and harmony at a time when the whole world is witness violence and hostility in the name of religion.

“The world today is increasingly witnessing violence, division and hostility in the name of religion. It is a cause of grave concern for us. I firmly believe that the ancient Indian thought of respect and acceptance for all faiths is the only way to ensure peace and harmony in the age of growing religious clashes and conflict,” PTI quoted Singh as saying.

“I have no hesitation in accepting the fact that almost every government in this country has been tolerant towards all religions and faiths. This principle of equality and tolerance for all faiths has been a part of India’s character and sensibilities for thousands of years,” he
added.

The Union minister further said that Indian culture is a long-standing tradition of religious freedom, compassion and tolerance.

“Therefore, we must maintain the ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhav’ in this country and continue cementing the pillars of a united India. Unity is our strength and we all must work to strengthen the bonds of unity, amity and harmony in our society,” he said.

The Union minister also talked about Modi government’s belief in “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’, for building a new India.  “India has been united not because one religion or some theological thought held the political power or exercised control over the system. Our great nation is united because it provides space to a peaceful coexistence of multiple thoughts and theologies.”

Talking about Christianity in India, which goes back to 52AD when Saint Thomas had visited Kerala, Singh said, “We are proud that Kerala houses, one of the oldest churches in the history of mankind. India is the land where religious freedom has been exercised for
centuries.”

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