Thiruvananthapuram: Vice President Hamid Ansari on Tuesday said that Nehruvian thoughts are more relevant in the country now, particularly in the backdrop of the dangers from religious superstition, obscurantism and fundamentalism.
To examine the Nehruvian legacy is to renew the fight against religious deformations in thought and practice, he said while releasing a book on the first Prime Minister here.
As one of the titans of the national movement and the architect of modern India, Nehru's dynamic and towering leadership and progressive ideas richly deserve to be recalled and evaluated, Ansari said.
"Nehru's services were many sided and a discussion on this is required, particularly in the backdrop of the dangers from religious superstition, obscurantism and fundamentalism at the present moment," he said.
The Vice President said one of the most important contributions of Nehru was the firm anchoring of secularism as a core character of India polity.
"Nehru believed that in a country like India, which has many faiths and religions, no real nationalism could be built except on the basis of secularity," he said.
Noting that Nehru's exposition of secularism did not mean an absence of religion, but putting religion on a different plane from that of normal political and social life, he said it was firmly rooted in affirmation of social and political equality.
Ansari also observed that Nehru's concept of secularism was to serve as an instrument of national integration, actively promoting social and political change in the direction of eliminating inequality.
Detailing the contributions of Nehru to the nation, he said the former PM was a visionary and had played a major role in establishing a modern scientific and technological infrastructure in the country.
Ansari released the book 'Jawaharlal Nehru and the Indian polity in perspective' here, edited by PJ Alexander, by giving a copy to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
The book comprises a collection of articles on Nehru by experts from various disciplines.
Governor Justice (Rtd) P Sathasivam was also present on the occasion.