Need to preserve richness of diversity and multi-culturism: Manmohan Singh

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Wednesday said that it is a major challenge for all of us to ensure that the richness of our diversity and multi-culturism is preserved and nourished.

Speaking on the occasion of conferment of Indian Council of Philosophical Research’s lifetime achievement award here, Dr. Manmohan Singh said: ” We need to preserve this essential unity, this Indianness that has been strengthened and enriched by the various strands of thought that constitute the great Indian philosophical tradition. It is a major challenge for all of us and especially our intellectuals.”

Stating that India has a glorious philosophical tradition, Dr. Singh said: “Philosophers have been the architects of our ancient civilization - a civilization that has been continuous and unbroken for thousands of years, despite the remarkable demographic, political and economic changes that have taken place in our country from time to time.

“Our country is characterized by enormous diversity. We are blessed with a multitude of languages. All major religions of the world are represented in India in good numbers,” he added

“There are numerous ethnic groups with their own distinctive identities. Yet, we are one nation, one people, sharing the same spirit of Indianness,’ he said.

He said sometimes, philosophers are seen as mere arm-chair speculators, who have the luxury of leisure. This, I believe, is a misconception.

“Philosophy is not removed from living but organically related to it. At a practical level, we need to break the artificial barrier between theory and practice,” he said.

With the rapid expansion of the knowledge frontier and the consequent multiplication of areas of specialization, Dr. Singh pointed out that there was an increasing need for interdisciplinary studies and for unified knowledge.

“Philosophy can play a pivotal role in ensuring this outcome. As the mother of all sciences, philosophy is necessarily inter-disciplinary. Therefore, it should be pursued not merely as a separate discipline, like economics or political science, but as a trans-disciplinary subject taught along with other subjects,” he added.

“Ethics should be an important element in the curriculum of professional schools. Again philosophies of law, education, history, politics, and science need to be studied for consummate and all-round preparation of our students enrolled in those respective fields,” he said.

He further hoped that the Indian Council of Philosophical Research will encourage efforts in that direction. (ANI)

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