President Pranab uses Durga imagery to advocate tolerance | india | Hindustan Times
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President Pranab uses Durga imagery to advocate tolerance

india Updated: Oct 21, 2015 22:48 IST
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
President Pranab Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee in front of a Durga idol during in Birbhum, West Bengal, on Wednesday.(HT Photo)

President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday reiterated that the country cannot afford to allow the ‘inherent strength and civilisational value’ of tolerance, harmony and coexistence of opposites to wane.

Speaking at his ancestral home at Mirati in Birbhum district, Mukherjee said that he wanted to spread the message about the true essence of Durga Puja and Indian civilisation.

This is the second time this week that the President has advocated the same.

His message came close on the heels of the opposition to ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali’s concert and the meeting between Pakistan Cricket Control Board and BCCI in Maharastra and the Dadri lynching of a person over the rumoured possession of beef.

“I hope the true message of worshiping Shakti reaches everyone. The core message is tolerance, attempts to understand each other and ensuring the existence of all, despite all the differences,” Mukherjee said, pointing at the composition of the Durga idol to elaborate his point.

“The Durga idol gives exactly that message. Several powers with apparently opposing nature have come together. The bull, the carrier of Shiva, is known as a victim of the lion, the carrier of Durga. The snake, which is one of the weapons in the hands of Durga, shares no good relations with the rat and peacock, the carriers of Ganesha and Kartik, respectively. And here lies the true message of Durga Puja - peaceful coexistence,” the President said.

“The coexistence of opposite powers and views enhances social bonding and a society’s ability to progress,” he said.

The President arrived in Birbhum on Monday to take part in the Durga Puja. He is scheduled to return to Delhi on Thursday.