Chennai. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said respect for all religions was inherent “in the Indian blood” and asserted secularism does not mean ‘insult’ or appeasement of one particular faith.
For a long time, India has sheltered persecuted persons and given refuge to many, Naidu said at an event here to mark the centenary of Sri Ramakrishna Vijayam, a Tamil monthly of Sri Ramakrishna Math.
Speaking on the occasion coinciding with the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Naidu said people should forever remember him and propogate his teachings and preachings “which are eternal for the betterment of mankind.”
Hailing the guru as a “great saint, teacher and social reformer,” he said Swami Vivekananda played a major role in introducing Hinduism to the West.
“He was a social reformer and was against religious dogmas and believed in the uplift of humanity irrespective of caste or creed and emphasised that spiritualism is important for the survival of mankind,” Naidu said.
Swami Vivekananda also said he belonged to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all nations of the earth, Naidu said.
“Now also we are ready to accept those who are persecuted though some people are trying to make it controversial and all,” he said in an apparent reference to the opposition to the NDA government’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.
“That is our culture, our heritage. This is what our forefathers have told us,” the Vice President added.
Today there was more than ever a need to bring down the walls that create differences among the people and “we follow sarvadharma samabhavana,” or respect for all religions, he said.
Without naming anyone, he said some people had some kind of an “allergy” towards the word Hindu.
“There are some people in this country who have some allergy towards this word called Hindu. We can’t help them and they have got every right to have that view. But they are not right,” he said.
He also visited Amir Mahal, the residence of Prince of Arcot, Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali.