Its inspiration comes from a historic tradition of constructive participation in nation-building

I am extremely overwhelmed and gratified by the outpouring of support for The Hindu Centre which is being launched today. It is also a singular honour that it is being inaugurated here in Rashtrapati Bhavan , the ultimate symbol of this great republic. This augurs well for the Centre as an active instrument of public service.

The context in which the idea of the Centre has emerged is the sharp sense of a breakdown of the basic consensus on governance and also an increasing polarization of the national discourse. We think the Centre should help strengthen the foundational liberal principles that have made this country great. The Centre should be an agent of change, rather than solely engaging in theoretical explorations at a time when there is rising public anger and strong disenchantment with politics and institutions. We see our role as taking forward a re-examination of fundamental constitutional principles which regrettably have become points of controversy and contestation such as nationalism, secularism and social justice.

On this historic occasion, I pledge that the Centre will make every serious endeavour to help elevate the tenor of the public discourse. We come from a tradition of constructive participation in nation-building. I dedicate the Centre to our eminent forefathers Kasturi Ranga Iyengar and Kasturi Srinivasan whose impassioned commitment to public activism shall ever be our inspiration.

We are very grateful to the distinguished leaders of politics, industry and other spheres who have come today to witness the Centre’s launch. We earnestly request your support in taking this initiative forward.

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