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India in quest for social, economic freedom: FM

"We will not accept anything that denies social freedom. We have to invent, innovate and take initiatives so that individuals can contribute to the welfare of society for everything that the modern world can give us," the Finance Minister said.

india Updated: Sep 07, 2006 18:44 IST

India is in a stage of transition after attaining political freedom because the quest for social and economic freedom was still in the formative stage, Union Finance Minister P Chidamabaram said on Thursday.

Speaking after releasing a commemorative five-rupee coin on saint-social reformer Sree Narayana Guru on his 152nd birth anniversary, he said that the Guru carried the immortal message that service to mankind was service to society.

The Guru had taught us that education and enterprise were the only means to achieve equality. Political, social and economic freedom were the content of democracy, he said.

"We will not accept anything that denies social freedom. We have to invent, innovate and take initiatives so that individuals can contribute to the welfare of society for everything that the modern world can give us."

Chidambaram said it was time that we become a knowledge society. "We must seek knowledge, find knowledge and share knowledge. People should have access to education and enterprise as the Guru advocated," he said.

He said caste and religious beliefs should never be regarded as a "prison". Emphasis should be on education and enterprise which would make a truly civilised society.

Chidambaram recalled his association with Sree Narayana Sevasram in Kancheepuram and the Koviloor Mutt at Karaikudi, where the tradition of Guru's teachings were being followed.