‘India’s pluralism has stood the test of time’

President Pranab Mukherjee said here on Saturday that India thrived owing to its power of assimilation and tolerance.

“Our pluralistic character has stood the test of time. Our ancient civilisation has over the centuries accommodated our diversities,” he said at the golden jubilee celebrations of the Delhi High Court.

Though his remarks might have more resonance now, the President has been consistent in raising his concerns over diversity and pluralism.

‘Democracy creative’

On the eve of Independence Day this year, Mr. Mukherjee said: “Our democracy is creative because it is plural, but diversity must be nourished with tolerance and patience. Vested interests chip away at social harmony, in an attempt to erode many centuries of secularism.”

In Saturday’s remarks, Mr. Mukherjee pointed to the judiciary as the “final interpreter” of the Constitution and laws.

The President suggested that the judiciary “help maintain social order by swiftly and effectively dealing with those on the wrong side of the law.” As an upholder of the rule of law and enforcer of the right to liberty, the judiciary has a sacrosanct role, the President said.

Zubin Mehta joins debate

A host of eminent personalities joined the debate on growing intolerance with music maestro Zubin Mehta speaking against “ostracising” writers and authors that would amount to cultural dictatorship while Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy said there was “considerable fear” among the minorities in India.

Mr. Mehta, a Mumbai-born music conductor who lives abroad, batted for complete freedom of expression for writers and film-makers, saying it should be there in the world’s largest democracy.

(With inputs from PTI)

Judiciary is the “final interpreter” of the Constitution and laws, says President Pranab