President in Pune: calls for culture of discussion rather than dispute
Ramnath Kovind, President of India, on Wednesday called for a ‘culture of discussion’ rather than dispute by keeping the other person’s integrity intact. The remarks are seen as a rebuff to the growing misuse of social media and targeted hatred online.
While citing examples of some of the social reformers from Pune, including Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Savitribai Phule, justice MG Ranade, Vasudev Balwant Phadke and Bal Gangadhar Tilak, President Kovind said that they avoided dispute and focused on a culture of discussion.
“Each one of them placed emphasis on a culture of discussion rather than dispute and addressed disagreements while being mindful of the other person’s dignity. This is the true attribute of an educated society. And this is the benchmark by which we measure Pune’s intellectual vibrancy and reputation as a centre of scholarship,” said the President.
President Kovind was speaking at the inauguration of the Sadhu Vaswani International School on Wednesday at the Sadhu Vaswani Mission in Pune, where Lal Krishna Advani, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader; Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Maharashtra governor; Prakash Javadekar, Union minister for human resource development and Dada J P Vaswani were present.
While addressing students, President Kovind said that Pune has been the centre of education for the country and state and the story of modern India owes a lot to the “educational, reformist and progressive ideas” that have flowed from this city. Our nation is truly appreciative of these ideas, he added.
Earlier in the day, the President unveiled the statue of Matoshree Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar at the Matoshree Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar Garden in Pune.
While focusing on Dr BR Ambedkar’s links with the city, the President said that the architect of the constitution also “stressed on the importance of education as an instrument for social change and for building a just and egalitarian society.”
The President also had praise reserved for senior BJP leader LK Advani for holding values in public life. “Values-based education helps promote ethics in society. And I can think of none other than Lal Krishna Advani as an upholder of values in public life, who we are honoured to have here with us today.”