|Need Interfaith Dialogue to Eliminate Misunderstandings: Ansari
Praising India for its diversity, Vice President Hamid Ansari on Tuesday stressed on the need for interfaith dialogue to remove misunderstanding and promotes empathy and understanding and said that tolerance alone is not a strong foundation for building an inclusive and pluralistic society.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Interfaith Conference at Malappuram, Kerala, Ansari said that both the law and the public life in India, promote and endorse religious tolerance.
If we truly want to have a society at peace with itself, we need to move from merely tolerating each other’s mere presence to acceptance and understanding. Swami Vivekananda said that we “must not only tolerate other religions, but positively embrace them, as truth is the basis of all religions.” Tolerance is a virtue. It is freedom from bigotry, he said.
Asserting that interfaith dialogue was crucial for developing understanding, the Vice President added that the purpose of interfaith dialogue is to increase the understanding and respect for other religious systems and institutions.
To promote real understanding, interreligious and interfaith dialogue has to be more than mere words or talk. It must include human interaction and relationships. It should be about people of different faiths coming to a mutual understanding and respect that allows them to live and cooperate with each other in spite of their differences. It has to be a cooperative and positive interaction between people of different religious traditions, at both the individual and institutional level, he said.
During the function, the Vice President also laid the foundation stone of the Straightpath International School campus.