Practise religion, not hate speech: Vice President Naidutext_fields
Kottayam: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu made a strong statement against hatred and communalisation on Monday, saying that while every one could practise his own religion, one should not be making hate speeches against any community of religion. Everyone had the right to practise his or her faith in India, the Vice President asserted.
"Practice your religion but don't abuse and indulge in hate speech and writings," the Vice President said at an event organised to mark the 150th death anniversary of Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara, a spiritual leader and social reformer from the Kerala Catholic community, at Mannanam near Kottayam in Kerala.
The Vice President encouraged inculcating the spirit of service in youngsters from school-level onwards in order for them to properly understand and celebrate the secular nature of Indian culture which celebrates all traditions, faiths and beliefs. Naidu said secularism is in the blood of every Indian and the country is respected the world over for its culture and heritage.
"As a matter of fact, the philosophy of share-and-care is at the core of India's age-old culture and must be widely propagated. For us, the whole world is one family as encapsulated in our timeless ideal, 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam'. It is with this spirit that we should move forward together," Naidu said.
Hailing the work of social reformers like Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Sree Narayana Guru, the Vice President said other states could also take inspiration from Kerala in the fields of social progress and educational empowerment, especially of women and backwards communities. Development should be for all communities as per the ideals of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.
Paying tributes to Saint Chavara, he said "this iconic spiritual and social leader of Kerala, whom people considered as a saint during his lifetime, was a true visionary in every sense of the term." He noted that even though Chavara's ideals were based on the Catholic Christian faith, his work was not limited to a single faith but extended to people from all walks of life.
His remarks bear particular importance as they come on the heels of various attacks on minorities across the country, including FIRs being filed against hate speeches made against Muslims in Haridwar and Raipur as well as attacks on Christmas celebrations in Karnataka.
The Vice President arrivec in Kerala on Friday, December 31 as part of a scheduled 5-day visit that also included a trip to the Andamans. The event at Kottayam was attended by Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, Minister for Cooperation and Registration, Government of Kerala, V N Vasavan, former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Lok Sabha M P Thomas Chazhikadan and senior priests and nuns of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI).