Kolkata: Amid rising protests against intolerance, President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday underlined the need for tolerance and said Indian civilization would not have survived for 5,000 years without tolerance.
"We celebrate diversity, we promote tolerance, we accept dissent. If it wasn't there, India's civilization couldn't have survived for 5,000 years," Mukherjee said at an event in West Bengal's Birbhum district.
"Our collective strength must be harnessed to resist evil powers in the society," said Mukherjee, who is on a four-day visit to his ancestral house at Kirnahar in the district to attend Durga Puja.
This is the second time in a month that the president has stressed on the importance of tolerance. (Also Read: "Let core values not slip," President Pranab Mukherjee's message of tolerance to Government)
Days after the lynching of a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh over rumours that he ate beef, Mukherjee had appealed for tolerance, saying core values of civilisation cannot be shunned.
A host of literary personalities have been returning their Sahitya Akademi awards in protest against the rising incidents of intolerance in the country.