We should practice not just tolerance but acceptance of all religions: Shashi Tharoor
The senior Congress leader and Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, was speaking at ABP Network’s inaugural ‘Ideas of India’ summit
Mumbai, March 26, 2022: As a nation and people, we, Indians, should practice not just tolerance but acceptance of all religions, said Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Senior Congress Leader and Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha.
He was speaking at ABP Network’s inaugural ‘Ideas of India’ summit to delve on the topic of ‘The Idea of Freedom – Law, Liberty, and the Limits of Democracy: A functioning anarchy or a Non-negotiable Democracy?’. The summit has brought together the brightest brains from diverse sectors to discuss India’s 75-year journey, its present status, and the way ahead. ABP Network is the leading multi-language news channel reaching 535 million individuals in India.
Dr Tharoor said, “We should practice what Swami Vivekananda had taught us; he held all religions to be true. Just as the Shiva Mahima Stotram says just as thousands of streams flow in different directions – some straight, some in curve or crooked but finally dissolve in one ocean, similarly, despite various religious practices, all such doctrines ultimately dissolve in You, the Sachchidananda Swarupa.”
“Also, every Indian should be proud of his/her religion, but the state has no place in religion, or kitchen, bed room, or food habits of its people”, the Parliamentarian said, while referring to the ruling BJP party’s contrary views on the same.
On the narrative of nationalism and role of outsiders, Dr Tharoor said, “Indian civilisation has been infused by various ethnicities over many centuries. I share by views with Pandit Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi in this.”
On the issue of some individuals and political parties hijacking the credit of making India an independent country, he said, “The Indian National Conference fought for freedom. The Hindutva view was represented by Hindu Mahasabha and RSS and neither participated in the freedom struggle. In fact, both these organisations, in different ways, had recommended to people to collaborate with British. In fact, the Hindu Mahasabha had joined hands with the Muslim League to usurp power in Bengal.”
“We should broaden the space for discussion and debate. We should use terms such as pluralism and diversity instead of secularism”, he concluded.
Jagdeep Dhankhar, Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal, who was a co-speaker at the same event, said he was being victimised by the ruling political party in West Bengal. “I suffer a chief minister. I am a victim. She has claimed that I have used Pegasus to spy on her government. I have been repeatedly humiliated in various ways over the last two-and-a-half years.”
Saying that he is always governed by the Constitution, Mr Dhankar reflected on his difficult equation with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. He commented, “I consider her as my sister. But sometimes even the sister has to be shown the mirror for the relationship to flourish, it can’t be allowed to be capsized… I am all for Mamata but I want Mamata Banerjee to reflect mamata (compassion).”
“Intellectual competence is a great virtue but intellectual perversion is the greatest threat to a democratic polity. I see it as a different kind of political trend that several important people, who are not active politicians, suddenly playing politics by different means during election season”, he added.
“Let us not be apologetic about our religion. We are passing through a critical period of our history. The nation today, unfortunately, faces challenges from within and outside. No nation on the planet is suffering such kind of challenges Courage of conviction should never be in captivity,” he observed.