Healthy democracy calls for tolerance: President

New Delhi: Observing that ‘argumentative Indian is celebrated and not the ‘intolerant Indian, President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said tolerance and patience were essential for the democracy to be healthy.

Addressing the nation on the eve of India’s 68th Republic Day, Mukherjee said a “wise and discerning mind is necessary for democracy to flourish”.

“It is my firm conviction that India’s pluralism and her social, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity are our greatest strength.

“Our tradition has always celebrated the ‘argumentative’ Indian; not the ‘intolerant’ Indian,” said the President.

He said that multiple views, thoughts and philosophies have competed with each other peacefully for centuries in our country.

“More than a unison of ideas, a healthy democracy calls for conformity to the values of tolerance, patience and respect for others.

“These values must reside in the hearts and minds of every Indian — inculcating in them a temperament of understanding and responsibility,” added the President.

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