Diversity is at the Core of our Pluralistic Society

Some Points from the speech of The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the second ICCR ‘Distinguished Indologist’ Award to Prof. Yu Long Yu of the People’s Republic of China today (December 1, 2016) at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

  • India represents a balance between tradition and modernity. We find our history and heritage reflected in almost all our transactions – from the mundane level of every day custom and ritual to our academic work – in science, innovation and maths – and also our spiritual pursuits, creativity and cultural activities.
  • Our villages are firmly rooted in our traditions but have simultaneously leapfrogged into cyber space.
  • Yoga and ayurvedic medicine are examples of ancient Indian science that still have an important influence in our daily practices. They continue to be popular and are being actively revived and promoted. Indian civilization has always been open to new streams of thought and information. This diversity is at the core of our pluralistic society. The wealth of our multi-faceted experiences has made indology vast in its scope.
  • The contribution of foreign scholars to the development of Indology has been critical. Their efforts have led to the worldwide awareness of India’s rich cultural and civilisational past. Indology has helped to understand the development of human civilization.
  • From religion and philosophy to science and social science, language, grammar and aesthetics, ancient India had theories and answers about the whole range of complexities of human life. These are some of the reasons why a special effort to promote Indology needed to be made.


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