‘Unity in diversity’ is civilisational heritage: Arif Mohammad Khan


Arif Mohammad Khan said ‘unity in diversity’ is ‘our civilisational and cultural heritage’

Arif Mohammad Khan said ‘unity in diversity’ is ‘our civilisational and cultural heritage’

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Sunday said that Indian society has never accepted rulers in power “but thought leaders such as rishis and munis” as their ideal.

Mr. Khan said that “unity in diversity” in India was not born out of necessity but as “our civilisational and cultural heritage”.

“…even during the Vedic period, the diversity of languages and religious faiths and expression of devotion existed in India. Later, it was asserted,” Mr. Khan said.

He was speaking at the Capital Foundation National Awards function in Delhi where eminent personalities — Justice (retd.) Madan B. Lokur, Justice (retd.) G. Raghuram, Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra, Shekhar Gupta, Professor Ranbir Singh, Prof. N.G Rajurkar, Dr. R.K Man, Prof. P. Ishwara Bhat, Justice (retd) Ajay Kumar Mittal, Dr. K.Y. Ramachandra Rao, P.V Rajagopal, Ganesh Chandru, Uday Kotak, Dwaipayan Pattanaik, Major General (retd.) Narendra Kotwal, and C. Harshavardhan Reddy — were presented awards for their contributions in various fields.

“The women and men of India — the colours of their skin are different, their rituals and cultures are different, they worship different gods. We will have to accept that Indian society never accepted the rulers in power as their ideal. The ideals have always been thought leaders — the rishis and munis,” he said.

He added that India has made atma (spirituality) as the basis of defining its civilisation and culture.

“Unfortunately, the history of the few hundred years has been so overwhelming ….all the time, [there is] fighting over religion, caste, creed, community as if that is our heritage. No, that is not our heritage, that is a distortion and this distortion [is] mainly claimed because of another weakness. India has always been considered as a knowledge civilisation…we were the worshippers of Maa Saraswati but we became villains when we denied knowledge to our own people. In the process, we weakened our society, we became weak and vulnerable. This is the greatest blunder which we have committed,” Mr. Khan said.

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