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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, August 21, 2018

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Ideals of Gandhi, Tagore best way to confront intolerance, bigotry and terrorism

President Pranab Mukherjee

Share on Facebook June 3, 2015, Reporter : ANI, Reader : 683

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Uppsala (Sweden), June 3 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee has said that ideas of truth, openness, dialogue and non-violence espoused by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi provide the best way forward for a world confronted with intolerance, bigotry and terrorism.

Delivering a public lecture on 'Tagore & Gandhi: Do they have Contemporary Relevance for Global Peace?' at Uppsala University in Sweden on Tuesday, the President said the values and vision of Tagore and Gandhiji are more relevant today than any time before in a world desperately searching for permanent solutions to conflict and tensions.

"In their personality, they capture not just the times they live in but also many complex questions that transcend geography and are pertinent for all countries and communities across the world," Mukherjee said.

Describing Tagore as a 'versatile genius', Mukherjee said that the Nobel Laureate "was the perfect ambassador of our country at a time when little was known about India in the outside world."

"Throughout his life, he was fascinated by the idea of interaction between civilizations through the exchange of knowledge about their cultures and literatures which reflect the universal values of humanity," he said.

"In a world fettered by race, creed and colour, Rabindranath Tagore promoted internationalism for a new world order based on diversity, open-mindedness, tolerance and co-existence. He travelled far and wide preaching the religion of truth and harmony, and of love and compassion," he added.

He further said that Mahatma Gandhi showed the world that Satyagraha (Truth Force) and Ahimsa (Non-Violence) can be marshaled to create a more just world.

" Mahatma Gandhi commenced his experiments with the use of truth against violence in South Africa and then developed it to create in India a peace movement of a kind the world had never before seen. This movement not only resulted in the independence of India but also heralded the end of colonialism worldwide," he said.

"Gandhiji, like Tagore, had an abiding concern with Nature and the unique placement of human consciousness in an intricate, intimate and harmonious relationship with nature. Another important message Gandhiji gave was that economics is of no use without ethics. This simple injunction creates a moral frame within which human ingenuity has to function," he added.

President Mukherjee is currently on a five day visit to Sweden and Belarus which began on Sunday.

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