Secular foundations of country must be strengthened further: Vice President Addresses Udvada Utsav 2017
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the secular foundations of the country must be strengthened further and any attempt to create differences in the name of religion by vested interests and religious extremists must be nipped in the bud. He was addressing the members of Parsi community on the occasion of Iranshah Udvada Utsav 2017, in the holy village of Udvada in Gujarat today.
The Vice President said that Parsi community has made invaluable contribution to the country’s growth and progress in diverse fields from atomic energy to pharmaceuticals. He quoted Mahatma Gandhi as saying “I am proud of my country, India, for having produced the splendid Zoroastrian stock, in numbers beneath contempt, but in charity and philanthropy perhaps unequalled and certainly unsurpassed”.
The Vice President said that India’s syncretic culture and ethos form the basis of the country’s secularism. He further said that secularism was in the DNA of every Indian much before it was enshrined in the Constitution. ‘Sarva Dharma Sama Bhava’ epitomizes India’s secular ethos. India is a land of diverse cultures and religions, he added.
The Vice President said that the values of tolerance and respect for all religions have been part of Indian ethos from times immemorial. He further said that keeping the tourist potential of the town in mind, the Gujarat Government has initiated Destination Development Project and put in place some basic infrastructure in and around Iranshah Fire Temple. This heritage town is being projected as a symbol of religious tolerance and harmony as rightly suggested by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, he added.