Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said that India is a tolerant society and called upon the people to remember that one who discriminates among the people on the basis of religion, region or language cannot be a nationalist. Speaking as the chief guest at NIT Goa’s fourth convocation ceremony, Mr. Naidu said, “India is a tolerant society. It is a speciality of India that irrespective of caste, creed, sex religion and region, it is one.” “One nation, one people, one country — that feeling should be there among all of you. That is patriotism. Patriotism does not mean taking Bharat mata’s photo and forgetting others. You have to treat everybody with respect, love and affection, only then you are a nationalist.”“From time immemorial, we believe in debating and deciding. Discuss, debate and decide, do not disrupt. This applies to the Parliament, the assembly, and municipal councils also,” said the Vice President. Emphasising on what he termed as “working towards Indianisation of education,” Mr. Naidu said that the English (language) is not an illness, but an English mind is one which has been inherited by Indians from the British rule. He urged the people to discard the “colonial mindset.” India never attacked any country, he said. “Every Tom, Dick and Harry came and attacked, ruled and ruined us. They have ruined us mentally too. That is how the people are suffering,” he said.Giving examples of the still-persisting “English mindset” among Indians, Vice President spoke about “small changes” he brought about in Rajya Sabha after he became chairman. “There is a practice that before proposing a bill a minister would say, ‘I beg to present.’ But to whom were they begging? We are an independent country. I said no to using this phrase. Instead, I said, say ‘I submit a paper, to propose a bill’,” Mr. Naidu said. Another instance of the ‘English mindset,’ according to him, was the use of ‘yours obediently.’ “We used to write ‘yours obediently,’ because Britishers wanted Indians to be obedient to them. I say no to obedience. Be sincere.” Mr. Naidu said that India was one of the oldest surviving civilisations in the world. “India is strong and dynamic because India believes in vasudaiva kutumbakam (the philosophy that says the whole world is my family),” he said. He expressed happiness that the NIT Goa authorities changed the convocation dress to Indian ethnic wear. Mr. Naidu was also critical of parents encouraging their children to call them ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’. “Saying ‘Maa’ comes from within,” he said. Speaking about various challenges before the country, he termed terrorism as the enemy of humanity. “It has no religion. Some people are trying to give a religious colour to and justify it,” he said. On information explosion, Mr. Naidu said confirming facts was very crucial in all media platforms. “Information with confirmation is more than ammunition,” he said. He said that technology advancement helps to end corruption and delay, and that was why the Prime Minister was talking about DBT (direct benefit transfer), Aadhar and was keen to have everything online.
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