Indians are argumentative but never intolerant: President Mukherjee

Guwahati [India], Mar. 31 (ANI): Asserting that India's strength was its ability to manage diversity and forge unity in divergence, President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday stated that Indians were argumentative but never intolerant.

President Mukherjee made the statement while inaugurating the 'Namami Brahmaputra' festival in Guwahati, Assam.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said Assam is emerging as an economic hub of East India and South East Asia, adding that it is the gateway and most effective location to put into effect the Prime Minister's Act East policy.

Stating that India will soon celebrate 25 years of its association with ASEAN, the President said that South East Asia is an important destination for India's investment and trade.

Highlighting Assam's immense potential, President Mukherjee said the state is rich in natural resources and its people are hard working, adding that what is needed is strong drive, right policies and effective implementation.

Referring to the diverse and distinctive culture of Assam, the President said India's strength was its ability to manage diversity and forge unity in divergence, further asserting that it was not just the elites but also the common people who were firmly committed to trust, mutual understanding and harmony.

Noting that Indians were argumentative but never intolerant, the President said that the country's traditions, including the teachings of Assam's great scholar and social reformer Shankaradev never allowed the practice of intolerance.

Recognizing Brahmaputra River as the lifeline of Assam and the region, the President said that it is intertwined into the economy, culture and day-to-day life of the people of the area through which it flows.

He complimented the State Government for having started 'Namami Brahmaputra' as an annual festival to showcase Assam's culture as well as potential. (ANI)