Staff Reporter

Cultural legacy key to India's survival: Antony

PAYYANNUR: Defence Minister A.K. Antony said the cultural legacy rooted in Gandhian vision of non-violence, tolerance and democracy has helped India survive various challenges after Independence.

Inaugurating a public function organised by the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) here on Monday as part the celebration of the centenary of Gandhiji's Satyagraha struggle, Mr. Antony said the objective of celebrating the centenary was to allow the new generation, political organisations, religious and community leaders to recall the message of Gandhiji and to make the world understand the importance of Satyagraha. At a time when different nations were amassing nuclear weapons, Gandhian philosophy was the only answer to ensure world peace, he added.

Mr. Antony along with Congress Working Committee (CWC) member Veerappa Moily and AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh led a march from Perumba, near here, to the venue of the function in the evening. A large number of Congress workers attended the function.

Stating that the Indian National Congress was a national party with international perspective, Mr. Antony said that survival of the country was still a matter of surprise for the world. The country had made great strides in science and technology and industrial development, he said adding that those who had predicted balkanisation of the country comprising diverse cultures, communities and languages had been proved wrong. India had survived challenges such as the Partition and the situation following the Calcutta thesis of the Communist Party, he said. He also urged the Congress workers to uphold the Gandhi-Nehru vision.

KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala presided over the function. Delivering the keynote address, Mr. Digvijay Singh said the country had to fight against corruption, malnutrition, illiteracy and poverty. Accusing the Left parties of adopting double standards over many issues, he said wherever they were in power they were implementing policies of liberalisation, which they criticised elsewhere.