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India is one whether you speak Marathi or Hindi: President

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 04:56:02 PM, Agencies &

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil

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New Delhi/Malegaon: President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today said India is known for its varied heritage and would always stand united, irrespective of whether one speaks Marathi, Telugu or Hindi.


''Whether you converse in Marathi, Hindi, Telugu or English, India is one and will always be...Bharat mein vividhta mein bhi ekta hai (in India, there is unity in diversity also),'' Ms Patil said.


She was talking to a group of 35 children from Kupwara and Shopian districts of Jammu and Kashmir at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.


The President's advice to the students came close to the controversy that erupted in the country after Abu Asim Azmi, Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA in Maharashtra, tried to take the oath in Hindi. He was later slapped and manhandled by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) MLAs during the special assembly session.


MNS President Raj Thackeray had told that the MLA in Maharashtra should take the oath only in Marathi - the official language of the state.


The President further cautioned the children to beware of those trying to divide the country on communal lines. ''Don't let anti-social elements take you for a royal ride. Always be focused...and never hesitate from burning the midnight oil and leaving no stone unturned to come out with flying colours in life,'' said the President.


She asked the youngsters to develop their talents and work for the progress of the nation. India was a nation of diversity and beauty, she said and pointed out that if the youth of the nation from different regions interact with one another, this would definitely strengthen national unity.


The President said, Indian students were known throughout the world for their discipline, hard work and good value systems. She also urged teachers to be role models for their students, as the value system taught by them left a deep impression on their wards.


Children from Jammu and Kashmir are currently on a visit to Delhi, under the Indian Army's Operation Sadbhavana, which aims to show other parts of India to them.













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