Not worthy to be leader who demeans others: Vikram Seth on intolerance

New Delhi, Dec 9 (IANS) Any Indian who demeans others on the basis of the food he eats, religion he practises, and person he loves is not worthy to be a leader, Indian novelist and poet Vikram Seth said on Wednesday over the ongoing intolerance debate.

“I do believe that we are a tolerant country. I do believe that the basic tenor, both of the country as a whole and also euphemistically called the majoritarian religion is tolerant. But we must allow it to be hijacked by people who try to make the faultline deeper.

“Any Indian who demeans another Indian on the basis of the food he eats, and on the basis of the god he prays to, or on the basis of the person he loves is not worthy to be an Indian leader,” Seth said at the launch of NDTV journalist Barkha Dutt’s book “This Unquiet Land”.

The book was launched by Vice President Hamid Ansari at a hotel in the capital.

“It’s not yoga or the invention of zero or IT, if anything that the world can learn from us is how to get along with each other. It is this quality how to get along with the crowded country with such diversity and yet be enriched by it rather than feel separated by,” added Seth.

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