Secularism is the bedrock of the Constitution. Recognising the right of others and respecting their sentiments constituted the basis of secularism, according to N. Kirubhakaran, Judge, Madras High Court.
Countries that were formed on the basis of one religion had not been able to develop as much as the multicultural and secular India had, he said.
Mr. Kirubhakaran was addressing the inaugural function of a three-day national youth workshop on ‘Peace and Communal Harmony' organised here from Monday by the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai, and Justice Shivaraj V. Patil Foundation, Madurai.
Fighting in the name of religion would never result in peace, he said, adding that intolerance was on the rise in recent times.
The Judge urged the gathering to be tolerant and strive towards preservation of what was left to them by their ancestors.
Speaking later, G.M. Akbar Ali, Judge, Madras High Court, said that the main objective given to the Constituent Assembly, formed on December 1946 by Jawaharlal Nehru, was to come up with a document that promised a social, secular and democratic country that guaranteed all rights, economic, political and social, to all its citizens irrespective of caste and creed.
Despite the country facing communal riots at that period of time and with political leaders calling for a division of the country on a religious basis, the leaders never entertained the thought of “Hindu Raj” in India.
Communal disharmony was fuelled by fear, suspicion and hatred, Mr. Ali said.
S. Selva Gomathi, financial trustee, Justice Shivaraj V. Patil Foundation, M. Mahaboob Athiff, trustee, and Vasundhara Mohan, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, spoke.