On Monday, President Pranab Mukherjee, emphasised the need to respect the sensitivities of minorities and called for efforts to be made to regulate an atmosphere where every community has a space in the national narrative.
While delivering the Indira Gandhi Memorial lecture of the Asiatic Society, at Kolkata, Mukherjee said, the state must do its best to reduce regional imbalances and provide a just, fair, and good administration to give equal treatment to every citizen of the country irrespective of their caste, race, religion, color, sex, or place of birth.
He said, “We must encourage a broad human outlook in all our citizens and educate them to rise above caste or communal loyalties. We must learn to respect the rights and sensitivities of minorities, both in letter and spirit.”
He also said, “We must strive to maintain an atmosphere where every community feels a part of the national narrative.”
He said that while all the Indian languages must be supported and encouraged, some accommodation in favor of national imperatives would always be required in a linguistically plural society.
He believes that knowledge about different religions and great saints should be a part of everyone’s education; he went on to add that the focus should remain on raising the standard of living of people and reducing the existing disparities in power, income, wealth, consumption and utilization of social services like health and education.
He also added that, “Sometimes, it does happen that regional interests overtake our commitment to the national interest. We have to guard against any such tendency.”