Former President A.P.J Abdul Kalam has stressed the need for creating an enlightened society to foster universal peace and brotherhood.

Inaugurating the golden jubilee celebrations of the Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) at Sreekaryam on Monday, the former president said an enlightened society could be developed through propagation of a value-based education system, constant interaction between religious communities, and economic development to uproot poverty.

True education

“True education is the acquisition of enlightened feelings and powers to understand daily events and the permanent truth linking man to his environment,” he explained. Pointing out that religion has two components — theology and spirituality —, he said though theology was unique to every religion, the spiritual component spread universal values. There is the need to ensure frank dialogue between various cultures, religions and civilizations, he added.

The most critical factor in developing an enlightened society is improving the living standards of people by propelling economic growth. “Nearly 300 million people have to be lifted by upgrading their quality of life in both rural and urban areas. Even though the GDP growth indicates our economic growth, people’s participation is essential for achieving the required targets,” he said.