On the eve of his six-day, three-nation visit to Jordan, Palestine and Israel, President Pranab Mukherjee again reiterated that tolerance and co-existence were basic tenets of the Indian civilization. He was answering written questions from Jordan’s Arabic daily, Al Ghad.
“I have noted the speech made by His Majesty King Abdullah in the UN General Assembly on September 29 this year in which he has proposed seven steps to promote values of tolerance and co-existence in the face of extremism. Tolerance and co-existence are basic tenets of our civilization. We hold them very dear to our hearts. Our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru propounded the five principles of peaceful co-existence amongst nations. I agree with His Majesty King Abdullah that the world is confronted with a third world war to which we must respond with equal intensity. I also agree that we must go back to the essence of our respective faiths and creeds,” said the President, while answering a question about Jordan’s role in the global fight against the Islamic State.
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Mukherjee added that hate speech and fear mongering should come to an end and religion should not be allowed to “be used as a mask to satisfy hunger for power and control of some individuals.”
This is the second time in two days that the President has advocated tolerance as one of the core values of India.
The reiteration came as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while speaking at an election rally in Bihar, cited Mukherjee’s pitch for plurality made during a book release function at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Wednesday. The President is scheduled to visit Jordan, Palestine and Israel between October 10 to 15.
On Thursday, Mukherjee also spoke about how India and Jordan rejected religious fundamentalism, extremism and terrorism in all its forms. “In the back drop of regional turmoil and unrest, my visit to Jordan will serve the purpose of sending the message that India and Jordan stand together in the fight against global terror and all forms of instability. I intend to also reiterate India’s support for Jordan in its fight against terrorism and extremism. We will sign several MoUs and agreements, which will enhance the institutional framework of cooperation between the two countries,” he added.
The President also reiterated India’s long-standing support to the Palestinian cause.