Seeking to reassert Jawaharlal Nehru's legacy, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on day said secularism is a compelling necessity for a country as diverse as India.
She also said that there can be no India without secularism and it remains more than an ideal.
Addressing an international conference on the 125th birth anniversary of Nehru here, Gandhi said secularism was an "article of faith" for the first Prime Minister of the country.
"There can be no Indianness, no India without secularism....secularism was and remains more than an ideal. It is a compelling necessity for a country as diverse as India," she said.
The Congress President recalled that Nehru had once warned that he would fight to his last breath of his life to protect secularism if it comes under attack.
In an opaque reference to BJP, she said knowledge about Nehru's life and work has weakened in recent years, drowned out by misrepresentation and distortion.
Referring to the country's first Prime Minister's efforts to build a modern India, she said he worked on developing a strong public sector, "a potent symbol of change and modernisation."
She said Nehru's achievements continue to bear fruits. "He moulded a new intellectual outlook, a new social sensibility, a new sense of Indianess," she said.
Gandhi also recalled his role in the field of science and technology.