NEW DELHI, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) — Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday expressed serious apprehensions over rising religious intolerance in his country.
“Humanism and pluralism should not be abandoned under any circumstance. Assimilation through receiving is a characteristic of Indian society. Our collective strength must be harnessed to resist evil powers in society,” Mukherjee said at a public function in the eastern state of West Bengal.
“Whether tolerance and acceptance of dissent are on the wane?” he asked, adding”the essential part of the Indian civilization and culture is its pluralism.”
“Our bondage is strong because of tolerance — to accept the other’ s religion and other s opinion…Indian civilization has survived for 5,000 years because of its tolerance. It has always accepted dissent and differences.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come under increasing criticism at home for keeping silent over attacks by Hindu militants against Muslims for allegedly eating beef.
A Muslim man was killed late last month for allegedly eating beef in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. A Kashmiri Muslim was also killed last week by a mob for allegedly killing a cow, which is considered sacred in Hinduism.