Pakistan, 'even America' are theocratic states, India is secular: Rajnathtext_fields
New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said Indian values consider all religions equal, and that is why the country is secular and never became a theocratic state like Pakistan.
Speaking at the NCC Republic Day Camp in Delhi, Singh said: "We (India) said we would not discriminate among religions. Why did we do that? Our neighbouring country has declared that their state has a religion. They have declared themselves a theocratic state. We didn't declare so."
"Even America is a theocratic country. India is not a theocratic country. Why? Because our saints and seers did not just consider the people living within our borders as part of the family, but called everyone living in the world as one family," the minister said.
Singh underlined that India had never declared its religion would be Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist and people of all religions could live here.
"They (saints and seers) gave the slogan of 'Vasudev Kutumbakam' -- the whole world is one family. This message has gone to the whole world from here only," he added.
Singh gave Raksha Mantri Padak and commendation cards to NCC cadets and observed band and cultural performances of NCC cadets on Wednesday on the occasion of NCC Republic Day Camp 2020.
"Our Indian values say that all religions are equal. That is why India never declared itself as theocratic state. We never said that our religion would be Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist. We never said any such thing. We are a secular state. All religions can live here," he said in his speech.
Praising the parade and various performances of cadets of National Cadet Corps, the Defence Minister said it has been able to boost the sense of national pride among Indian youth.
"Whatever I have seen today, I was trying to compare when I was the NCC cadet myself. I have come to the conclusion that times have changed. At my time, we couldn't even imagine such cultural performances," the minister said.
All boys and girls must be proud of being part of the world's largest youth organisation that NCC is, he said.