BENGALURU: Asserting that the spirit of secularism is safe in the country, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said, “People discuss secularism, but it is safe, not because of this government or that government, this party or that party. But because secularism is in the blood and veins of every individual.
This has to be understood by one and all.” Speaking at the platinum jubilee celebrations of Mount Carmel Institutions in Bengaluru on Saturday, he stressed that other countries have no right to teach India about secularism, especially when many advanced nations have internal conflicts of their own. “Some people have a mentality of denigrating others and deriving vicarious satisfaction. Every religion is great in its own way. What we have to focus is not religion, it is a personal way of worship.
We should focus more on our culture and heritage,” he said and urged everyone to take pride in their country, language and religion. He also hit out at the Western media for “putting India in a negative light”. “The Western media has a habit of carrying negative stories on India while ignoring its achievements,” he said, acknowledging the country is burdened with several problems like poverty, gender disparities and social inequality.
He, however, stressed that India has many accomplishments to be proud of. “Ours is a great country; fortunately India is again on the move, and the world is now recognising and respecting India once again. Nobody can ignore us. India is the most tolerant country in the world, one can take it for granted. Show me any other country where such equal opportunities are given to all sections,” he said. He also expressed satisfaction with the National Education Policy-2020, stating that it is good that the policy gives importance to the mother tongue. “Learn as many languages as possible, but first learn the mother tongue. There is a perception that unless you have an English education, you cannot be successful. But, learning English is an additional strength,” he said.
MASS MOVEMENT FOR SANSKRIT
Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu said a mass movement must be launched to revive Sanskrit learning. “We must make it a mass movement where all stakeholders should contribute to the re-discovery of India’s rich classical literature and cultural heritage. We must preserve these linguistic treasures. There is such a rich history waiting to be discovered. Sanskrit helps us understand the soul of India,” he said while speaking at the Karnataka Sanskrit University at the Raj Bhavan on Saturday. He said the technology will help in learning and preserving Sanskrit.
“During the pandemic, when everyone was working from home, we realised the importance of the communication revolution. The same technology can help us in learning new languages like Sanskrit online, in our leisure. Technology opens up new opportunities to preserve and propagate Sanskrit,” he said.