SRINAGAR: President Ram Nath Kovind asserted on Tuesday that democracy has the capacity to reconcile all differences and bring out the best of the citizens' potential, saying Kashmir is "happily" realising this vision.
"Democracy, I firmly believe, has within it the capacity to reconcile all differences and also the capacity to bring out the best of the citizens' potential. Kashmir, happily, is already realising this vision," the president said in his convocation address at the Kashmir University here.
Kovind, who is on a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, said violence was never part of "Kashmiriyat", but became a daily reality.
"It was most unfortunate that this outstanding tradition of peaceful coexistence was broken. Violence, which was never part of Kashmiriyat, became a daily reality.
"It (violence) is alien to Kashmiri culture and it can only be termed as an aberration, a temporary one, much like a virus that attacks the body and needs to be purged. Now there is a new beginning and determined efforts to regain this land's lost glory," he said.
The president said Kashmir is the meeting point of various cultures.
"In medieval times, it was, Lal Ded who showed the way to bring together various spiritual traditions. In the works of Lalleshwari, you can see how Kashmir provides the template of communal harmony and peaceful coexistence," he said, referring to Kashmir's revered poetess.
Kovind said almost all religions that came to Kashmir embraced the unique feature of "Kashmiriyat" that shunned orthodoxy and encouraged tolerance and mutual acceptance among communities.
"I take this opportunity to urge upon the younger generation of Kashmir to learn from their rich legacy. They have every reason to know that Kashmir has always been a beacon of hope for the rest of India. Its spiritual and cultural influence has imprint all across India," he added.