Vice president Hamid Ansari said that secularism and democracy are the fundamental principles on which the Indian republic is founded.
He was speaking at the presentation ceremony of the first Sree Narayana Guru Global Secular and Peace Award 2013 to Shashi Tharoor, Union minister of state for human resources development. Ansari said that it is noteworthy that in the late 19th and early 20th century, Sree Narayana Guru was propagating the message of social justice and equality, secularism and empowerment of the poor and marginalised through socio-economic uplift and education. While much has been done in the past six-and-a-half decades to achieve social justice, more remains to be done to make India a modern society, he added.
He said that the purpose of the award is to honour an eminent public personality who has made an important contribution towards building a secular and democratic society as envisaged by Sree Narayana Guru.