Kirnahar: In a clear message to governments, President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said it is the job of elected politicians to uphold the civilisational values of tolerance and peaceful co-existence, comments that come against in the backdrop of recent violent incidents including the lynching and killing of people on the basis of suspicion.
"I do not give any message on any contemporary issues or any such thing. I do feel it is only politicians who are responsible and whom people have elected to run their administration and form the government.
"That is their job to carry on the administration and governmental activities and at the same time to uphold the rich civilisational values of Indian culture. We have inherited the rich traditions which have kept the various elements together," he told India Today.
This is the fourth time the President has made public his views in less than a fortnight ever since the lynching of a Muslim in Dadri on suspicion he had consumed beef.
Since then, there have been rising incidents of intolerance including killing of two men in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir on mere suspicion and Shiv Sena's acts of blackening the face of an author, forcing cancellation of music concert of Ghulam Ali and storming the office of Cricket Board in protest of resumption of bilateral series that aborted talks between the two sides.
In his remarks today, the President said celebration of diversity, promotion of tolerance, respect for co-existence and acceptance of differences are the essential ingredients of the civilisational values.
The President has been talking about promotion of tolerance, accepting differences and respect of dissent. On Monday, he had raised a question whether tolerance and acceptance of dissent was on the wane in the country.
In the wake of the Dadri lynching incident, he had said "I firmly believe that we cannot allow the core values of our civilisation to be wasted and the core values is what over the years the civilisation celebrated diversity, promoted and advocated tolerance, endurance and plurality."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also endorsed the President's remarks and asked people to ignore rabble rousing by leaders and fringe elements.