World witnessing violence, hostility in the name of religion: Rajnath Singh

World witnessing violence, hostility in  the name of religion: Rajnath Singh
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Thiruvananthapuram, May 1: The world is increasingly witnessing violence and hostility in the name of religion, and the ancient Indian thought of respect for all faiths is the only way of ensuring peace and harmony, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday.
Singh said almost every government in the country has been tolerant towards all religion and faith. “The world today is increasingly witnessing violence, division and hostility in the name of religion. It is a cause of grave concern for us. I firmly believe that the ancient Indian thought of respect and acceptance for all faiths is the only way to ensure peace and harmony in the age of growing religious clashes and conflict,” he said.
The home minister, while speaking at a civic reception for Philipose Mar Chrysostom, the emeritus Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, said the spirit of tolerance has also been enshrined in India’s Constitution. The country’s entire system is guided by the Constitution, which has roots in the ancient cultural traditions of the country, Singh said.
“I have no hesitation in accepting the fact that almost every government in this country has been tolerant towards all religions and faiths. This principle of equality and tolerance for all faiths has been a part of India’s character and sensibilities for thousands of years,” he said.
Singh said Indian culture today was nothing but a long-standing tradition of religious freedom, compassion and tolerance. He said the problems faced by the country had always been addressed through a unique interplay of ideas and the biggest living proof of this was the Constitution which “we all swear by and have taken a pledge to defend it”. “Therefore, we must maintain the ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhav’ in this country and continue cementing the pillars of a united India. Unity is our strength and we all must work to strengthen the bonds of unity, amity and harmony in our society,” he said.
The home minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was running a government at the Centre which firmly believes in taking every section of the society along and building a New India. The goal is ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’, which means development with unity, he said. “India has been united not because one religion or some theological thought held the political power or exercised control over the system. Our great nation is united because it provides space to peaceful coexistence of multiple thoughts and theologies,” the minister said.
Singh also spoke about the history of Christianity in India, which goes back to 52 AD, when Saint Thomas visited Kerala. “We are proud that Kerala houses, one of the oldest churches in the history of mankind. India is the land where religious freedom has been exercised for centuries,” he said.
The home minister also referred to the valuable contributions of Mar Chrysostom to the Indian society for well over six decades. The government honoured him for his contribution with the ‘Padma Bhushan’ this year, Singh noted. (PTI)