Vol: 08 No: 01
06 August 1961
This is the lesson of history and I would like all my countrymen to grasp it firmly.
In our country, particularly, it is very necessary that each one of us should realise that the best course is to act with a sense of respect and equality towards every community and creed. In it lies the welfare of our country and of every one of us.
This faith and conviction has impelled India to adopt the policy of secularism and to give an assurance that there shall be no discrimination on grounds of religion. Everyone would be provided equal opportunities.
In conformity to this ideal, I have respect and affection for all the faiths. Even though I am a Sanatanist Hindu by faith and daily practice, yet, I believe that every man can reach God by worshipping Him according to the dictates of his own faith.
Not only have I respect for all religions and their places of worship but I also go to them to pay my respect whenever possible. Whenever there is an opportunity, I go to the ‘dargah’ and the ‘masjid’ the church and the ‘gurudwara’ with the same feeling of respect with which I go to the temples of my faith.
It is very plain today that the policy of religious intolerance has always been and shall ever continue to be a failure. Today, our attempt is not to rectify history.
Our only aim here is to proclaim anew our attachment to the faith, convictions and to the values on which our religion has rested since immemorial ages.
We also proclaim to the world that the great truth of spiritual life teaches that every individual should have full independence and opportunities for rising to the highest glory of life to which his experience and natural talents entitle him.
This work of restoration had been started by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He played a prominent part in weaving the scattered parts of India into a common whole.
An idea had occurred to him that this symbol of the ancient faith of India should be restored to commemorate the restoration of Indian unity. By the grace of God, this dream of Sardar has been fulfilled to a certain extent.
But, it would have been realised fully only on the day when prosperity is restored to our people.
06 August 1961
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