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Kolkata: In the wake of a spate of incidents starting from lynching of a 50-year-old man in Dadri in the outskirts of national capital on suspicion of storing beef, followed by two more such incidents in Himachal Pradesh and J&K, coupled with Shiv Sena protests in Mumbai, President Pranabh Mukherjee on Monday once again sought to underline need to preserve India’s core values of diversity, tolerance, and plurality of Indian civilisation. Third time over past fortnight, Mukherjee expressed apprehension about whether tolerance and acceptance of dissent are on the wane.
President Pranab Mukherjee at the felicitation function of Nayaprajanma and Suri Sabujer Abhijan at Suri, Birbhum, West Bengal PTI
While addressing a gathering in Birbhum district of West Bengal during a function organised by a local weekly, in a subtle message to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government, the President said humanism and pluralism should not be abandoned under any circumstance. “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 the strength of 5000 year old Indian civilization was its tolerance. “It 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,” he said.
Earlier, a week ago, President had stressed the need to keep up core values of civilization. “Many ancient civilizations have fallen. But that is right that aggression after aggression, long foreign rule, the Indian civilization has survived because of its core civilizational values and we must keep that in mind. And if we keep those core values in mind, nothing can prevent our democracy from moving ahead,” he underscored.