Indirectly referring to the recent violence that has erupted in the capital with regard to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday said disregard for the rule of law will lead the country down the path to destruction.
“One has the right to speak and achieve whatever (one wants) in a peaceful democratic manner. By causing destruction you are destroying your future and that of the country. What the country needs is a positive attitude and not a negative mindset,” Mr Naidu said, while giving the 28th convocation address of Pondicherry University.
He urged the student community to involve themselves in nation building by taking up various national causes such as cleanliness, water harvesting and developing ethical and moral values.
Calling for an attitudinal change among the people, the Vice-President said educational institutions should consider discarding colonial era convocation dress code. “I am not suggesting any colour or dress code. You can either promote Khadhi or products of rural artisans,” he said.
Mr Naidu also gave a clarion call to the students to learn as many language as possible. “You should love your mother tongue but learn as many languages as possible. I don’t agree with the concept of hatred towards one language,” he added.
He went on to cite the example of Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy. “He excelled in the party because he could communicate well in Hindi,” the Vice-President said.
Appealing to graduating students, he said: “It is merely a stepping stone, a mere enabler for you to pursue your academic, professional and personal dreams. You have a whole exciting world to explore, to understand and contribute.”
Mr Naidu gave away gold medals to toppers in various subjects. As many as 335 Ph.D, 26 M.Phil, 3,498 postgraduation, 11,048 undergraduate, 113 diploma and 4,269 distance education degrees were awarded at the convocation.
Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, Mr. Narayanasamy, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) N. Gokulakrishnan and Vice Chancellor Gurmeet Singh were also present.