Thiruvananthapuram: The world is increasingly witnessing violence and hostility in the name of religion, and the ancient Indian thought of respect for all faiths is the only way of ensuring peace and harmony, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today.
Singh said almost every government in the country has been tolerant towards all religion and faith.
“The world today is increasingly witnessing violence, division and hostility in the name of religion. It is a cause of grave concern for us. I firmly believe that the ancient Indian thought of respect and acceptance for all faiths is the only way to ensure peace and harmony in the age of growing religious clashes and conflict,” Rajnath Singh said.
The home minister, while speaking at a civic reception for Philipose Mar Chrysostom, the emeritus Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, said the spirit of tolerance has also been enshrined in the Constitution.
The country’s entire system is guided by the Constitution, which has roots in the ancient cultural traditions of the country, the minister said.
“I have no hesitation in accepting the fact that almost every government in this country has been tolerant towards all religions and faiths. This principle of equality and tolerance for all faiths has been a part of India’s character and sensibilities for thousands of years,” Rajnath Singh said.
Singh said the Indian culture today was nothing but a long-standing tradition of religious freedom, compassion and tolerance.
He said the problems faced by the country had always been addressed through a unique interplay of ideas and the biggest living proof of this was the Constitution, which “we all swear by and have taken a pledge to defend it”.
“Therefore, we must maintain the sarva dharma samabhava (equal attitude of law towards all religions) in this country and continue cementing the pillars of a united India Unity is our strength and we all must work to strengthen the bonds of unity, amity and harmony in our society,” he said.
The home minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was running a government at the Centre which firmly believes in taking every section of the society along and building a New India
The goal is sabka saath, sabka vikas, which means ‘development with unity’, he said.
“India has been united not because one religion or some theological thought held the political power or exercised control over the system. Our great nation is united because it provides space for a peaceful coexistence of multiple thoughts and theologies,” the minister said.
Singh also spoke about the history of Christianity in India, which goes back to 52 AD, when Saint Thomas visited Kerala
“We are proud that Keralahouses, one of the oldest churches in the history of mankind. Indiais the land where religious freedom has been exercised for centuries,” he said.
The home Minister also referred to the valuable contributions of Mar Chrysostom to the Indian society for well over six decades. The government honoured him for his contribution with the ‘Padma Bhushan’ this year, Singh noted.