Everyone should be able to live without fear and prejudice: President

Kolkata, Dec 13 (IANS) Averring that acceptance and belief in pluralism was core to India’s unity amidst diversity, President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said the social fabric would remain strong if every individual irrespective of caste, creed, language, region and religion can live “without fear and prejudice”.

“India prides itself in is pluralistic ideas. In India, several major religions have thrived due to its assimilative capacity that has come to define our civilisation over the centuries,” Mukherjee said addressing the concluding ceremony of the bicentenary celebration of the Diocese of Calcutta here.

The president said every religion preaches the fundamental value of humanity. “Forebearance, respect and acceptance of different view form some of the core principles of every faith, belief and religion of the world.”

Pointing out that in India people professing different faith have for long lived in harmony, he said: “It is a unique experience to have under one system, one administration, one constitution, 130 crore people, 100 languages used in every day practice, 1,600 dialects used in every day practice.”

“The inherent chemistry of this unity amidst diversity is the acceptance and belief in pluralism. It is this mosaic of being multi-religious, that makes our nation an oasis of peaceful co-existence and communal harmony.”

“The fabric of our society would remain strong when every individual irrespective of caste, creed, language, region and religion can live and partake in its progress without fear and prejudice.”

Praising the country’s Christian community, he said it is looked upon with respect for its peaceful and humanitarian nature and magnanimous contribution to the process of nation building.

Quoting Lord Jesus Christ’s saying “Love thy neighbour as thy self”, he said everyone should embrace the teaching in word and deed.

Refering to the Diocese of Calcutta, the president congratulated the historic institution for its fruitful journey of service and commitment to the city of Kolkata and to the society at large.

He also lauded the Diocese’s effort to promote inter-faith dialogue.

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