Pranab Mukherjee says India cannot be defined in narrow sense, embraces diverse views
Former President Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday underlined the importance of inclusiveness in nation building and said the country should move forward by accommodating all kinds of views and ideas.
Also, he said the country needs to tap the potential of its youth in order to reap the demographic dividend.
"Our objective has been 'Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah' (May all be prosperous and happy)... it encompasses all. It's all-inclusive. That's the concept of India," Mukherjee said at the 5th Shri Hari Shankar Singhania Memorial Oration on the theme 'Youth and Nation Building'.
The former president said India can never be defined in a narrow sense as it's a great civilization that "embraces all kinds of races and humanity".
This year, JK Lakshmipat University (JKLU) conferred the JKLU Laureate Award on Mukherjee.
The JK Lakshmipat University has honoured distinguished luminaries for their contributions to the nation and society since 2014.
"India has developed from these concepts" which accepted everything, absorbed all and did not reject anything, he noted.
He said the fundamental truth of the progress of human civilisation has never been decided by the conquerors but by personalities like Jesus Christ and Gautam Buddha.
"... Courses of contemporary history will never be decided by the brown shirts of Hitler, or the black shirts of (Benito) Mussolini but by a person who has no shirt, Mahatma Gandhi," he added.
Stressing the need to tap the young population of India, Mukherjee said the entire political system has to take the responsibility, "otherwise the demographic dividend will be lost and it will become a demographic disaster. As unemployed youth is always the source of explosion".
On the occasion, JKLU chancellor Bharat Hari Singhania said, "Youth in India are contributing to the Indian economy significantly by adopting innovations and choosing entrepreneurship as their career."
(With inputs from agencies.)