Diversity & open-minded approach are sources of strength: Prez Kovind
Acceptance of alternative ways of thinking and mutual respect are not just slogans but -'India-'s natural way of life,-' President Ram Nath Kovind...
Aligarh (UP): Acceptance of alternative ways of thinking and mutual respect are not just slogans but "India's natural way of life," President Ram Nath Kovind said on Wednesday as he emphasised that diversity and an open-minded approach were great sources of strength for the country.
In his convocation address at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) here, the president said the pursuit of knowledge and the quest for human dignity are inter-connected. "These twin goals have been at the centre of the Indian ethos and of our composite civilisation. They have contributed to our diversity, which is our great strength, as well as our open-minded approach as a people," he said. Emphasising on mutual respect, learning and sharing from each other and acceptance of alternative ways of thinking and living, he said these were not just slogans but India's natural way of life.
"These lessons hold true for us as a country. They hold true within and between regions of our country. And they hold true within and between communities of our country. It is important to constantly renew this spirit", he said. We live in an age of globalisation - of building a world that does not just accommodate but celebrates diversity, the president said. "And that combines the best of modern technology with the traditions and cultures of our society to build the India of our dreams.
Such an India will help every Indian irrespective of background or identity - to realise his or her full potential," he added. Hailing the role of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Kovind said the institution, which is going to complete 100 years in 2020, has played a special role and its list of distinguished students is long. "Students of AMU have made their mark not only in India but also in the other parts of the world, particularly in Asia and Africa. The institution has played a special role in country's development," he said.
He recalled that during a state visit to Ethiopia in 2017, he learnt that the wife of the Ethiopian prime minister was an alumna of the AMU. The students of AMU have excelled in politics, administration, education, law, science and technology, literature, arts and sports, he said adding that 'Bharat Ratna' Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, anti-apartheid activist Dr Yusuf Mohammad Dadu, and former President Dr Zakir Hussain were students of this university.
"Progressive women like Ismat Chughtai and Mumtaz Jahan have added to the lustre of Indian society and of AMU", he said also pointing to the commendable achievement of Khushboo Mirza, a former student of AMU, who played a key role as a scientist in ISRO's Chandrayaan Mission. Achievers like her are role models for women in the 21stcentury, he added. He also mentioned the contributions of Dr Syed Zahur Qasim, Professor A Salahuddin and Dr Shahid Jameel to modern science.
The President said AMU's work in the field of science and technology is responsive to the needs of our society. The Centre for Advanced Research in Electrified Transportation is helping develop useful technologies, he said emphasising the need to enhance such efforts in other departments of the university so that knowledge and innovation can keep pace with changes in society.
Earlier, addressing the convocation, state Governor Ram Naik, who is also the rector of the University, reminded students that if they were ready to smile at the world and serve society, then no one can stop them from reaching the pinnacle of human achievement.