Friday, November 20, 2015

President cites Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to talk about tolerance in India

Times Of India: Agra/Mathura: President Pranab Mukherjee, clearly at pains to reiterate his anxieties on rising intolerance in the country, especially after Dadri, on Wednesday spoke about Chaitanya's arrival in Vrindavan some 500 years ago and wondered if tolerance and "acceptance of dissent" are on the wane in India, a country, he said, has "amazed" the world in the past with its unity in diversity. "People should learn from Chaitanya," he said.

Addressing a gathering of more than a thousand people, including ascetics, scholars and Krishna devotees, at a function organized to celebrate the 500th year of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's advent in Vrindavan's Parmeshwari Devi Dhanuka Saraswati Vidya Mandir, Mukherjee said there are seven major religions being practiced in India, more than 100 languages are spoken here and over 1,600 dialects are used in the country — an excellent example of unity in diversity.

"Living with diversity, finding unity in diversity has been practiced in India for centuries. This has amazed people across the globe — how India, in one system of administration, in one Constitution, in one way of legal jurisprudence and functioning, has managed to remain united," he said.

The President laid emphasis on civilizational values as the reason for the country living together with 128 crore people, the second largest population in the world, representing almost all major religions of the world.

"All three major ethnic groups, Dravidians, Caucasians and Mongoloids, live in one piece of land. In the whole of north-eastern India, you will find concentration of Mongoloid people. The whole of south India, you will find Dravidian people and in north and north-west, (there are) people belonging to Caucasians group. All these major ethnic groups live in one state. It has been possible because of our cultural values, civilizational values, which have been taught to us over centuries and which has descended on us and we have nurtured it, which is a part of life and therefore it is no cliche to us," the President added.

Ever since the Dadri lynching and subsequent events, Mukherjee has been repeatedly appealing for tolerance and pluralism.

Citing teachings of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a revered monk and a reformer in medieval India, he said that people should learn the lesson of love, service, humanity and communal harmony from the saint who devoted his life to society. The event was also attended by UP governor Ram Naik, Mathura MP Hema Malini, leader of UP Congress legislative party Pradeep Mathur.

Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, who was also expected to attend the programme, left Vrindavan soon after welcoming the President at the helipad. A souvenir highlighting Radha Tattva, a Vedic concept defined by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, was also released on the occasion.

Follow Me on Pinterest
Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More