NEW DELHI: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu urged the Indian diaspora on Thursday to effectively counter the "false propaganda and negative narrative" being spread against the country after Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, was abrogated.
Addressing a gathering here after the release of a coffee table book, Naidu said overseas Indians must raise awareness in the countries of their stay that the dilution of Article 370 was purely an internal administrative measure and aimed at accelerating the development of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
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"It has nothing to do with religion and any such false propaganda should be rebutted," the vice president said, according to a statement issued by his office.
Cautioning that some "vested interests" at times spread disinformation about India in the western media by portraying a negative image, Naidu said "a few isolated incidents are used to spin fictitious narratives that intolerance, religious and social disharmony are on the rise in India".
"Overseas Indians must effectively counter such falsehoods and project the correct image of India, especially on the harmonious co-existence of people belonging to all religions and various social groups," he added.
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Describing the Indian diaspora as "ambassadors" of the country's great culture, heritage and its intrinsic values of humanism, the vice president lauded their contributions for the welfare of the nation through their philanthropic and charitable works.
Observing that giving back to the society was a key element of the Indian philosophy, he asked the diaspora to contribute towards the country's growth story through greater participation in the areas of education, health, and agriculture.
Naidu urged them to become partners in programmes such as Swachh Bharat, Clean Ganga, Make in India, Digital India, and Skill India and strengthen those.