Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu today said that India wants to have peaceful relations will all its neighbors, including Pakistan. He was interacting with a group of girl students from Jammu and Kashmir who are on a tour to Delhi and Agra, at the Uparashtrapati Niwas in New Delhi today. He commended the Indian Army for facilitating the tour.
Expressing his admiration for the natural beauty of Kashmir, the Vice President praised the friendly people, the sublime spiritual traditions, exquisite cuisine and vibrant culture of the region.
The Vice President said that it was necessary for students to travel across the country to see the diversity of our great country and appreciate the thread of cultural and emotional unity that lies underneath this diversity. He added that traveling would also help students understand the challenges faced by the country and visualize solutions to these problems.
Highlighting the cultural richness and diversity of Kashmir, Naidu said that it was the composite culture based on the values of humanism and tolerance which was collectively known as ‘Kashmiriyat’.
Observing that the development of the state of Kashmir had suffered a setback due to constant cross-border militancy and terrorism, the Vice President stated that the abrogation of Article 370 was the need of the hour and would put the state on a rapid growth trajectory. “Recent changes in the structure of the state are intended to extend all the benefits which other Indians have been enjoying all this while”, he said.
Terming terrorism as the enemy of humanity and a constant roadblock in the path to progress, the Vice President observed that where tension prevailed, no attention could be paid to development.
Saying that India was moving very fast on all fronts, the Vice President said that students, must make full use of emerging opportunities to learn new things and make their own contribution to their state’s and nation’s development.
Expressing concern over rising instances of discrimination based on caste, class and gender, the Vice President called for relentless efforts to ensure equal opportunities to all.
Highlighting Kashmir’s long tradition of literary excellence the Vice President said that the many languages of India must be preserved, protected and promoted.
Asking students to be well versed in their mother tongues, the Vice President spoke of the need for primary education to be in mother tongue.
Naidu also urged students to take up social movements like Swachch Bharat, Fit India, Poshan Abhiyan, eliminating single plastic use and programmes like Skill India, and Start Up India and make efforts to transform them into mass movements.
He encouraged the students to learn about India, its history, geography and culture. He asked them to be conscious of their duties along with their rights as citizens. “You must strive for excellence in all spheres of life, develop scientific temper and adhere to the eternal values India has stood for”, he told them.