The Vice President of India, M. Venkakaih Naidu has said that our country has celebrated plurality, diversity and inclusivity and we must collectively strengthen this unique perspective. He was addressing the Civic Reception meeting being organised in honour of His Grace Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom & inaugurate the diamond jubilee celebrations of Holy Ordination of the Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan, in Thiruvalla, Pathanamthitta district of Kerala today. The Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha, Dr. P.J. Kurien, the Minister for Water Resources, Kerala, Shri Mathew T. Thomas and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.The Vice President said that Kerala state has traditionally welcomed all religions and is the land of Adi Shankara, the greatest exponent of Advaita philosophy, the land of Cheraman Juma Masjid, the very first mosque in India, the land of Thomas the Apostle who walked this land in the sixth century AD and the land where the Hindu rulers like Sthanu Ravi Varma of Venad gifted a plot of land in the 9th century AD to build a church. He further said that it is the land where Judaism, Jainism and Buddhism co-existed over so many centuries. No wonder it is now called “God’s own country” where divinity has been worshipped in multiple forms by different sects exemplifying the ancient Indian vision of welcoming noble ideas and ideals from across the globe, he added.
The Vice President said that it gives him immense joy to be with the people of Kerala on this very happy occasion celebrating two important landmarks in the lives of two illustrious sons of our great country - Padmabhushan Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Valiya Metropolitan and His Grace The Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan. He also congratulated the Metropolitan Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma who is celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of his holy Ordination. The people have benefited from his visionary leadership and enduring passion for the health and well being of suffering humanity, he added.The Vice President said that it is time to re-discover the treasure within. Churches, Temples, Mosques, Gurudwaras and other religious shrines are places of devotion, pious places of spiritual regeneration and catalysts of intergenerational transmission of cultural values. He further said that they are potentially the sites of social and community education and they serve to bring people together. However, if they stray from this path and dabble in politics and issue unwarranted divisive statements, they become dysfunctional, he added.The Vice President hoped that these two strands of religion and politics are not mixed up and the religious leaders give spiritual guidance to every human being and the political leaders take inspiration from our noble heritage to provide a clean polity. Today is an occasion for that process of recognizing goodness, recognising the spirit of creating a heaven on earth through pious thoughts and righteous action, he added.