New Delhi, Dec 28 (IANS) Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday said that harmony, tolerance, ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhav’ (equal respect for all religions) is the soul of India and ‘Unity in Diversity’ is the strength of the country.
Addressing an international conference on “Why Dara Shikoh Matters Today: Remembering His Works and Personality”, organised by Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in the national capital, Naqvi said, “Harmony, tolerance, ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhav’ is the soul of India and ‘Unity in Diversity’ is the strength of the country. Dara Shikoh remained the torch bearer of social harmony and religious unity in his entire life.”
“While on one hand, the believers of almost all religions of the world live in India; on the other hand, a large number of atheists also exist in the country with equal constitutional and social rights. This strength of ‘Unity in Diversity’ makes India ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’,” he said.
Naqvi mentioned that India is the only country in the world where festivals and other joyous occasions of all the religions are celebrated together. “We need to keep this shared cultural heritage and legacy of co-existence strengthened. Any attempt to disturb this fabric of unity and harmony will hurt the soul of India,” he said.
He pointed out that India is the world’s largest centre of spiritual-religious knowledge and also the source of inspiration for ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhava’ and ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (world is one family). “It is our collective national responsibility to ensure that India’s culture of tolerance and commitment of co-existence is not allowed to get weakened under any circumstances. Many obstacles came in the way of inclusive development, but our strength of ‘Unity in Diversity’ has ensured the country move forward on the path of prosperity,” he said.
Naqvi said that fogey and prejudiced politics created misconception on the legacy of Dara Shikoh. “The governments of so-called ‘Champions of Secularism’ deliberately did not give due importance, recognition to works done by Dara Shikoh like many other great people. Dara Shikoh was a very versatile personality. He was a very lively person, a thinker, a great poet, scholar, Sufi and a man with deep knowledge of arts and culture,” he added.