Inaugurating the World Book Fair in Delhi, President Pranab Mukherjee said the country's pluralism, social and cultural, linguistic as well as religious diversity is the greatest strength and added that it is a multiple source of inspiration for every citizen.
Mukherjee also emphasised that we must be uncompromising in rejecting intolerance, prejudice and hatred.
Mukherjee said the book fair is a magnitude with one of the best manifestations of country's liberal, democratic, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and secular society where competing ideas and ideologies have equal space.
He said these values constitute the essence of India and that we must do everything possible to preserve, protect, promote and nurture these ideals.
Mukherjee said that book fairs remind us of our history and traditions that have always celebrated the 'argumentative' people of the country and not the 'intolerant' ones.
Read: New Delhi World Book Fair to focus on children's literature
"Book fairs such as NDWBF remind us that our history and traditions have always celebrated the argumentative Indian and not the intolerant Indian. Multiple views, thoughts and philosophies have competed with each other peacefully for centuries in our country", said Mukherjee on Saturday.
The President also emphasised on the multiple views, thoughts and philosophies that have competed with each other peacefully for centuries.
He said that freedom of speech is one of the most important fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution.
The fair was jointly organised by National Book Trust and Russia's Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communication. The biannual fair attracted scores of book lovers who enjoyed the extravaganza browsing through the numerous ranges of books.
World Book Fair showcases vast collections of books from across the globe.
People from Delhi and adjoining areas thronged the venue along with book lovers from other parts of the country and abroad. There are wide ranges of books for all age groups including children.
Fiction, non-fiction in English and books available in all major Indian languages moderately priced are the major draw.