Establishment of true democracy should begin at school, Vice-President Hamid Ansari says

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February 8, 2014

KATRA, J&K: Asserting that establishing a truly representative democracy in a country of 1.2 billion people was a major task that could not be left only to the government, Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Saturday said this task needs to begin at the school level.

February 8, 2014

KATRA, J&K: Asserting that establishing a truly representative democracy in a country of 1.2 billion people was a major task that could not be left only to the government, Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Saturday said this task needs to begin at the school level.

Vice-President Hamid Ansari with Jammu & Kashimr governor NN Vohra and state chief minister Omar Abdullah during fourth convocation of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University at Katra on Saturday.

Addressing a convocation ceremony here, Ansari stressed on the role of education to integrate narrow sectional interests based on caste, religion, sect, language, ethnicity and region for the larger national cause.

"In a multireligious, multilingual, multi-ethnic society of over 1.2 billion people, marked by severe socio-economic disparities, compounded by immense geographical diversity, establishing a truly representative democracy is major task," he said.

"Managing narrow interests based on caste, religion, sect, language, ethnicity and region, and integrating them, into what would constitute national interest, is amongst our foremost challenges," he said.

"So is ensuring the separation of powers between the three pillars of government and between the constituent units of the federation. Reconciling the limits to government powers with individual rights and duties is also essential," he said.

Creating a responsible citizenry cannot be left only to the government, he said, adding that it needs to begin at the school level. Education should reaffirm our commitment to equality amidst diversity, and promote values that foster justice, peace and tolerance in a multicultural society.

The Vice-President extended his felicitations to the students graduating from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVD).

Commending the University for pursuing its mission of education, scholarship and research at the highest international levels of excellence, Ansari called for the emulation of similar initiatives elsewhere in the country.

"I am happy to note that the mission of this University is the pursuit of education, scholarship and research at the highest international levels of excellence, particularly in areas of science and technology," he said.

"There could be no higher calling than imparting quality education to our children and making them better prepared to meet the challenges that lie ahead in life," he said.

Stating that the principles of democracy, secularism and rule of law are firmly embedded in our Constitution, he said education has to play a critical role in imparting these values and turning out more responsible citizens of tomorrow.

"This is more so because we continue to witness a general disregard of these fundamental values in our public life; a failure to arrest this phenomenon would be detrimental to social cohesion," he said, adding that education should prepare our young people for becoming proud and responsible citizens of this great country.


Courtesy: PTI