Religion cannot be the basis of a state, says Prez Mukherjee | india | Hindustan Times
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Religion cannot be the basis of a state, says Prez Mukherjee

india Updated: Oct 22, 2015 16:44 IST
Kumar Uttam

President Pranab Mukherjee during an interview. (PTI File Photo)

President Pranab Mukherjee has reiterated the importance of ‘peaceful coexistence and tolerance’, saying these values cannot be limited within a timeframe and the five principles propounded by former PM Jawaharlal Nehru hold good even in the present context.

President Mukherjee, who returned to Delhi on Thursday night after a six-day visit to three west Asian countries, also described terrorism as the biggest threat faced by the world.

“Certain messages and principles have relevance for a very very long time. Peaceful coexistence is one such message and it is not to be bound in a timeframe,” he told reporters on board his special flight from Tel Aviv to New Delhi.

He was answering a question on the relevance of Nehru’s ideals, particularly peaceful coexistence, in today’s context.

Mukherjee also insisted religion should not be the basis for formation of a state, as this has never been successful. “I said that religion cannot be the basis of a state. For instance, in a large number of Arab countries, Islam is the religion. But on the basis of religion the Arab countries have not converged into one state.”

He quickly added, “Pakistan was created out of India on the basis of religion in 1947. A large chunk had come out of Pakistan and become an independent sovereign state (Bangladesh) within 25 years,” he said.