India should celebrate diversity and must not artificially try to convert it into “uniformity”, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Sunday. Observing that the country’s economy is growing at very fast pace, Mukherjee said it was not an accident or an achievement of one or two years.
“Today, we have 1.25 billion people on land. We have 1,800 dialects, 200 languages used in every day life, have seven religions, three major ethnic groups,” Mukherjee said at a function of Bapu Gujarat Knowledge Village, a college run by senior Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela.
“It’s possible because of our cultural liberalisation. It’s because of our spirit that we must celebrate our diversity. We must not try to remove diversity and artificially try to convert diversity into uniformity,” he said.
Mukherjee said this is the teaching of our ancient saints, philosophers and leaders.
“Many septics have expressed their doubts over makers of Indian constitution that it is a poor country, illiterate, diseased. How could any highly sophisticated parliamentary constitutional mechanism be established there…
“One of the personal friends of (Jawaharlal) Nehru, Sir Frank, who later became the Prime Minister of England, said Constitution was your idealism. However, after successful conduct of two general elections, the same person said it (Constitution) is most significant, magnificent, Magna Carta (a significant document in British history) of socio-economic transformation,” he said.
The President said the country had embarked on the road of socio-economic transformation through the Constitution.
He said Indian economy has been growing at a very fast rate which is a result of sustained efforts.
“Indian economy is growing very fast and this is not accident or the achievement of one or two years. Over last one-and-a-half decades, our GDP growth has been more than 7.5 per cent.
“(For) couple of years, we had 8.5 per cent (growth). Yes, we have left behind us the age when one of the noted economist jokingly told us that 3.5 per cent was Hindu growth rate of economy,” Mukherjee said.
He warned of a “demographic explosion” if India fails to provide necessary skills to the youth for securing jobs.
“By 2030 or within 14 years from now, India will have the largest working population but this won’t pay us dividend and may turn into demographic explosion if we do not give them necessary skills required for jobs,” Mukherjee added.