India’s pluralism an example for the world: Ansari

April 7th, 2008 - 4:53 pm ICT by admin  

By Vishnu Makhijani
Astana, April 7 (IANS) India’s pluralism and its ability to “draw the circle wide enough to be inclusive” has greatly contributed to stability and development, Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari said in this Kazakhstan capital Monday. “At a time when multiculturalism has come under strain in many parts of the world, our accommodative pluralism, our capacity to give space to fellow citizens and our ability to draw the circle wide enough to be inclusive has greatly contributed to stability and development,” Ansari said while addressing the Khazakstan Senate.

He noted that India’s diversity was “staggering” with the constitution recognising 22 languages and the country home to 844 dialects.

“An Indian currency note reflects this diversity - you can find 17 languages on it,” Ansari said. “Followers of all the major religions of the world are found amongst the citizens of India.”

Ansari is on the second leg of a weeklong official tour of oil-rich Central Asia that has already taken him to Turkmenistan. The region is part of India’s efforts to ensure its energy security and also ramp up trade and other ties with the countries.

In his address, the vice president pointed to the “commonalities” between India and Kazakhstan.

“We are multi-ethnic, multi-religious societies with secular structures. India is a vibrant democracy and Kazakhstan has opted for a democratic mode of governance.

“We are growing economies committed to inclusive development and better living standards for all sections of our society. We have understood the importance of diversity and are harnessing it for the well being of our people,” he added.

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