New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee today said the core values of diversity, tolerance and plurality of Indian civilisation must be kept in mind and cannot be allowed to be wasted, in remarks that come against the backdrop of the Dadri lynching over rumours of beef eating.
"I firmly believe that we cannot allow the core values of our civilization to be wasted and the core values is what over the years the civilization celebrated diversity, promoted and advocated tolerance, endurance and plurality. These core civilization values keep us together over the centuries. Many ancient civilizations have fallen. But that is right that aggression after aggression, long foreign rule, the Indian civilization has survived because of its core civilizational values and we must keep that in mind. And if we keep those core values in mind, nothing can prevent our democracy to move," he said.
The President's remarks come in the wake of lynching of a 50-year-old man in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh by an enraged mob over rumours that he stored and consumed beef, which has sparked an outrage across the country.
The President was handed over a coffee-table book on him at a function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan here. The book written by Prabhu Chawla, Editorial Director of New Indian Express, was released by Vice President Hamid Ansari.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, fromer Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and MPs were also present at the function.
In his brief 15-minute address, Mukherjee said being a political leader all along he felt shy speaking at such an occasion where a book on him was written.
He said the country has made tremendous progress in many sectors and there is no limit to doing more.
"There is no limit. We will have to do much more," he said.
He added that there is no end to work in the President's office which is considered stricly Constitutional and recalled how his friends jokingly commented that he would not have anything much to do in the post.
"I in my own way am making my contribution to make the country more important... After three years of coming here, I recognise that much more is to be done. There is no end to working in the President's office, which is considered strictly constitutional," he said.