The president of Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artistes Association S. Tamil Selvan has said that respecting, recognising and appreciating other religions is the tradition and culture of India, which, therefore, make it imperative on the part of parents to instil secular thoughts in the minds of their young children.

“Home should be more secular and children should be taught to accept others’ ideas. There are a large number of religious minorities in our country and their interests could be protected only when India follows secular principles,” he said.

Lecture

Mr. Selvam was delivering the 10 Graham Staines Endowment Lecture organised by the Centre of Religion and Interfaith Relations of Lady Doak College here on Wednesday. The lecture was instituted by the SOCO Trust.

Stating that secularism is not anti-theistic, he observed that communal ideology is more than communalism because communalism strengthens the concept of ‘other,’ which is a threat to secularism.

“There are three things involved in secularism — individual, religion and the State. It differs from country to country, but it is unique in India and we remain as a multi-religious and multi-cultural country,” he said, according to a press release from the college.

Decision made

The communal violence at the time of partition made the fathers of Indian Constitution and leaders to adopt secularism.

He expressed fears that communalism will distort history and will misuse history, media, education and literature to create hatred among the masses.

Jayamathy Frank, Vice-Principal, Lady Doak College, presided over the function.

M. Valliammal, convenor of the Centre for Religion and Interfaith Relations, welcomed the gathering.

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