Mukherjee presents National Communal Harmony Awards

New Delhi, Sep 20 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee presented the National Communal Harmony Awards for the year 2011 and 2012 at a function here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Mukherjee said that our Constitution lays down the fundamental duty of every citizen to "promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities".

However, despite this sacred mandate, despite the Directive Principles of State Policy and despite the safeguards that our laws provide, despite all the measures taken by our Administrative machinery, why is it that communalism does not seem to go away from our society, he asked.

He stated that none of our institutions preaches hatred. No religion preaches discord.

Asserting that the strength and resilience of Indian society lies in its plurality and diversity, Mukherjee said: "This unique quality has not been imported from anywhere nor has it come into our society by accident - rather it has been consciously nurtured and nourished by the tolerance and wisdom of the Indian consciousness."

"These principles are at the very foundation of our secular fabric. And, although maintenance of social peace and harmony is a function of Government, this responsibility cannot be delinked from the duties of each and every individual citizen," he added.

He said that the distinguished awardees who were felicitated today should be emulated.

He stated that we should strive to complement their achievements with our own individual and collective efforts.

"The distinguished awardees who we felicitate today should be emulated. We should strive to complement their achievements with our own individual and collective efforts. Each one of us must think of our own personal contribution to peace, harmony, amity and accord in our respective spheres of activities," he added. (ANI)

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