Vice President of India Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu today denounced attempts to create social friction in the name of caste and called for putting an end to social and gender discrimination in the country. He said that he was pained to hear some adverse comments on caste made by people in public life and added that that there was no sanction to caste in religious texts. ‘Caste is a curse on society’, he added. Shri. Naidu was addressing the gathering at the presentation ceremony of Dr Nagendra Singh International Peace Award.
Shri. Naidu also cautioned against the dangers of politics and caste coming together. He said that people should elect public representatives who have Character, Calibre, Capacity and good Conduct, but unfortunately four other C’s Cast, Cash Criminality and Community are getting preference at times.
Expressing his thoughts on world peace, the Vice President said that we should work towards creating a more just and responsive world order, one that is based on multi-lateralism. He added that a climate of mutual respect should be fostered and conflicts should be resolved through dialogue.
Conveying his respect and appreciation for Justice Nagendra Singh who served in the International court of Justice at the Hague for more than 11 years, Shri. Naidu said that Justice Singh was not only a distinguished civil servant but also a great jurist whose knowledge of international law was both profound and deep. He congratulated the international Goodwill Society of India (IGSI)for recognizing individuals and institutions who are promoting peace and goodwill in the world through their philosophy and their actions.
The Vice President observed that world peace has been humanity’s long standing dream. He expressed his disappointment at the fact that even in the 21st century, world peace continued to elude us and remained an unfulfilled quest. Recalling the horrifying days of the World Wars, the holocaust and the tragic times of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Vice President remarked that humanity could take heart from the fact that it has travelled a long way on the path to peace since then. He spoke of the world nations’ yearning for peace which led to the formation of the League of Nations.
The Vice President said that India has been a beacon light of harmony and peaceful co-existence. ‘For us, the whole world is one large family and the maxim of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is firmly ingrained in our consciousness’, he added.
Shri. Naidu congratulated the Chinmaya Mission, the winner of the prestigious Dr Nagendra Singh international Peace Award. He lauded the Mission’s yeoman service in the fields of education, empowerment of youth, healthcare, rural development, environment and culture. ‘The Chinmaya Mission is a great ambassador of Indian ethos and values. It is a true embodiment of the virtuousness and the spirit of peace and humanism that Hinduism stands for’ he said.
The Vice President urged one and all to transform their mindsets, to think and act differently, keeping the ultimate objective of improving the quality of life on this planet and world peace in mind. He proposed that Indian philosophy had the ideals of Sharing and caring at its core and stressed upon the need to internalize this spirit in whatever we do.
Dwelling upon the various ways in which violence manifested itself, Shri. Naidu lamented that very often, the mass media, the internet and our popular culture portrayed violence rather recklessly and sometimes even glorified it. He cautioned that there is a need to exercise restraint and responsibility in the portrayal of violence.
Shri. Naidu said that terrorism has become a major challenge to world peace. He added that there are a number of factors like isolationism, indoctrination, fundamentalism and violent extremism that are fuelling conflict and terror across the globe. ‘We must combat violence in all its forms and manifestations. We need a multi-pronged approach to bring in peace’, he said.
He explained that peace is an essential pre-requisite for progress and reemphasized the fact that we cannot give adequate attention to development if there is tension. ‘We must build an inclusive, harmonious world’. He said.
Shri. Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation and Parliamentary Affairs and other dignitaries were present at the occasion.>