Left Menu
Development News Edition

India was never a theocratic state and can never be one: ICCR president

PTI | Washington DC | Updated: 13-08-2019 13:22 IST | Created: 13-08-2019 13:22 IST
India was never a theocratic state and can never be one: ICCR president

Asserting that pluralism is an integral part of the idea of India, a top Indian cultural diplomat has said that India "was never and can never be a theocratic state." Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, president of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) made the comments on Monday in response to a question at The Hudson Institute think-tank here.

"Pluralism is an integral part of the idea of India. ….India was never a theocratic state and can never be a theocratic state,” Sahasrabuddhe said, adding that the objective now is to move towards what Babasaheb Ambedkar has famously appealed to achieving social and economic democracy. An autonomous organisation of the Indian Government, ICCR's main mandate is to be involved in India's external cultural relations, through cultural exchange with other countries and their people.

In his talk on “Prospects and Challenges for New India,” Sahasrabuddhe spoke of the need to prevent fragmentation within India. “However, there are those who argue that over the last few years there have been attacks on what were once core Indian principles: pluralism, tolerance and free speech. What would you say to this and how do you think the government plans on ensuring social cohesion?” Hudson scholar and moderator Aparna Pande asked.

Replying to the question, Sahasrabuddhe said that there should not be “an iota of doubt” on the BJP’s objectives and intentions. Whenever the BJP comes to power, all of these things attract more attention in the media as if they were not happening earlier, he noted.

“These are unfortunate incidents and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has in no uncertain terms decried them, denounced them, condemned them, and called upon the law enforcement establishment to take sternest possible action. So that goes beyond out. Nobody is defending here all kinds of wrongdoings,” said Sahasrabuddhe. “Therefore, pluralism is something which is an inherent part of the idea of India. … it's something very cardinal. In fact, we have been saying that Indian political democracy and its success, … I would very humbly put them that the roots of India political democracy are in our spiritual democracy,” he said.

Earlier, in his remarks on “Prospects and challenges for an emerging New India,” he dwelt on Prime Minister Modi's vision for a New India characterised by ‘politics of performance’, good governance and development as drivers of democracy and tools of social integration, cooperative federalism, women empowerment and welfare measures for the disadvantaged sections of society. Sahasrabuddhe also attended a round-table interaction hosted by Indian Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla with members of the US Administration, Congress, academia and think-tanks.

His engagements in Atlanta included a meeting with US Congressman John Lewis and unveiling of a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at the Consulate General of India, Atlanta. He also paid homage to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park.

During his meeting with Congressman Lewis, Sahasrabuddhe applauded the his efforts to introduce the ‘Lewis Bill’ in the US Congress which is an initiative to celebrate the legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

South Africa's COVID-19 response: Surprising outcomes or just poor data management?

South Africa has been committed to improving its health information system and shows that a robust digital has considerable scope to improve healthcare for the entire population. But the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that significant ga...

Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...

Videos

Latest News

ADB approves $110 million grant to strengthen Afghanistan’s energy sector

The Asian Development Bank ADB today approved a 110 million grant to boost power supply and strengthen Afghanistans energy sector by improving its sustainability and promoting cross-border trade in energy. The project will help address Af...

Biden's criticism of Amazon deforestation draws swift reaction in Brazil

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called on the world to offer Brazil 20 billion to stop Amazon deforestation, and threatened economic consequences if it did not, drawing swift reaction from the Brazilian government on Wednes...

As Brazil's wetlands burned, government did little to help

After hours navigating Brazils Pantanal wetlands in search of jaguars earlier this month, Daniel Moura beached his boat to survey the fire damage. In every direction, he saw only devastation. No wildlife, and no support from federal authori...

Business to Business (B2B) exhibitions will be permitted to open from Oct 15, for which SOP will be issued by the Department of Commerce: MHA.

Business to Business B2B exhibitions will be permitted to open from Oct 15, for which SOP will be issued by the Department of Commerce MHA....

Give Feedback