Hailing the Indian Muslims who have lived in a religiously pluralistic society over the years and for intermingling with the local culture, India’s Vice President Hamid Ansari said that this has helped them develop “an Indo-Islamic culture in India”. Mr Ansari, who is on a four-day visit to Morocco and Tunisia, was delivering a lecture at the Mohammed V University in Morocco. He was addressing the audience on the topic of ‘Accommodating Diversity in a Globalising World: The Indian Experience’.
Mr Ansari unerlined that in the modern world with diverse cultures across the globe, tolerance alone is not adequate. He emphasised that efforts ought to be made to seek “acceptance of diversity as a civic virtue”. “The challenge for the modern world is to accept diversity as an existential reality and to configure attitudes and methodologies for dealing with it. In developing such an approach, the traditional virtue of tolerance is desirable but insufficient,” he said. “Our effort, thinking and practices have to look beyond it and seek acceptance of diversity and adopt it as a civic virtue,” added Mr Ansari.
Praising the Muslim minorities in India for adapting to different changes over centuries, Mr Ansari said: “Indian Muslims have lived in India’s religiously plural society for over a thousand years, at times as rulers, at others as subjects and now as citizens. They are not homogenous in racial or linguistic terms…..Over centuries of intermingling and interaction, an Indo-Islamic culture developed in India.”
“The fact about the Muslim experience in modern India is that Muslims consider themselves as “beneficiaries” of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, participate fully in the civic processes of the polity and ‘seek correctives for their grievances’ within the system,” he said.
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