Must Eliminate Asuras or Divisive Forces, Tweets President Pranab Mukherjee in Strong Message

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President Pranab Mukherjee addressing a function in West Bengal's Siuri.


New Delhi:  As the countdown to Dusshera started, President Pranab Mukherjee made another appeal for unity and tolerance, urging the nation "eliminate the Asuras or divisive forces".

At a function in West Bengal's Birbhum district today, the President said, "We celebrate diversity, we promote tolerance, we accept dissent... and if it wasn't there India's civilization couldn't have survived for 5000 years and in any circumstances."

"Humanism and pluralism should not be abandoned under any circumstance," he tweeted later to reinforce the message. "Our collective strength must to be harnessed to resist evil powers in society. Hope Mahamaya - the combination of all positive forces would eliminate the Asuras or divisive forces."

The President had made his first appeal for tolerance on October 8, days after a mob lynched a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh's Dadri, allegedly over rumours of cow slaughter. "We can't allow core values of our civilisation to be wasted... The core values are that civilisation has celebrated diversity, promoted and advocated tolerance, endurance and plurality," he had said.

But since then, more cases of lynching over rumours of cow killings have been reported from elsewhere -- Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur and Nahan, Himachal Pradesh.

Referring to what he called "recent events as highlighted by the media" the President said these reports were planting doubts on whether the country is "progressing on the right path".

"Is tolerance and acceptance of dissent on the wane?" he said, quoting in that context spiritual guru Ramkrishna Paramhansa, who taught the importance of respecting every religion.


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