Stating that religious freedom is a fundamental right granted under the Constitution of India, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said the country needs no "lessons" on this issue.
"We do not need lessons from anybody. Some countries off late started giving us lectures forgetting what is happening back in their own countries," he said in an obvious reference to the recent report on International Religious Freedom published by the US State Department.
If at all one has to grade the countries, the most secular country in the world is India, he said in his address at the convocation of the Muffakham Jah College of Engineering and Technology in Hyderabad.
Naidu said there may be isolated incidents but it was wrong to brand the whole country.
"There may be isolated incidents here and there. They have to be isolated, insulated, condemned and action has to be taken against those people rather than clubbing the entire country and branding the country as if things are going wrong," he said in an apparent reference to incidents of mob lynching.
He said the motto of 'Sab ka sath sab ka vikas and vishwas' had its roots in core principles of Indian civilization. "We believe in inclusive India wherein every citizen has the same entitlement irrespective of his or her religious beliefs. All through the ages, Indian philosophers, rulers and modern political leadership expounded and uphold principles of equality and tolerance. The world can rest assured that India celebrates its religious diversity by upholding religious freedom. No other country matches India in respect of diversity and commitment to preserving such a colorful mosaic," he said.
Naidu, who began his speech with few Urdu words, exhorted graduating students to excel in their respective areas and serve the society and the motherland through their research.
He also stressed the need for getting information saying information with confirmation is more than ammunition.
Referring to social media, he said that one side is positive, but on another side, there are its problems. "There is sensationalism. It is very dangerous. Social media has to accountable and responsible. Whatever news spread should not have ill-effects and create social tensions," he added.