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President Pranab Mukherjee appeals to people for maintaining unity and tolerance in the country
Greeting the people on the occasion of Durga Puja, President Pranab Mukherjee made another appeal for unity and tolerance and asked the nation to 'eliminate the Asuras or divisive forces'.

President Mukherjee who was at Birbhum, West Bengal for Durga Pooja, addressed a function there and expressed his apprehensions. Mukherjee observed that Indian civilization has survived for 5,000 years because of its tolerance and by accepting dissent and differences.

He reminded a phrase from the teachings of Ramakrishna Paramhansa's 'Jato Mat Tato Path' (As there are a number of beliefs, there are a number of ways), the President said, "humanism and pluralism should not be abandoned under any circumstance. Assimilation through receiving is a characteristic of Indian society. Our collective strength must be harnessed to resist evil powers in society," as reported by TOI.

He also said, "Tolerance is not a political cliche. We celebrate diversity, we are ready to accept other views." Without making a direct reference to the Dadri killing or the smear campaign against writers, he said, "We have heard about some untoward incidents recently. Some of these are being discussed in the media. They sometimes create confusion and uncertainty. A question comes to our mind - Are we on the right track?"

This is for the second time in a month that President has spoken out for tolerance and about protecting the diversity of the country. Earlier this month the President has called for 'tolerance and plurality' at a function held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, shortly after the Dadri lynching episode.

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