Khushwant Singh receives Amity award

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New Delhi, Sep 27 (UNI) Well known journalist Khushwant Singh has received the 'National Amity Award' in recognition of his commendable service towards national integration and unity of the people.

The award, instituted by the Foundation for Amity and National Solidarity, was presented to him yesterday by Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee at a function in the main committee room in the Parliament annexe.

Congratulating Mr Singh on winning the award, he said journalists could emulate the shining example of Mr Singh ''who has always used his pen to mercilessly expose and to create a public opinion against the forces of sectarianism, authoritarian tendencies, communalism and chauvinism''.

''A country like India with its innumerable languages and dialects, tremendous mixture of ethnic groups, the diversity of religions and cultural practices cannot but be secular, pluralistic and tolerant,'' he said.

Emphasising that a stable social order rested on the pillars of peace, security and justice, Mr Chatterjee exhorted the distinguished guests to ensure that each of these pillars was strong and resilient at all times.

''There is an urgent need to nurture the values of secularism and democracy in our society so that our future generation is rid of the scourge of extremism and fundamentalism,'' the Speaker said, while calling upon all to stand united to defeat the threats to the nation's unity and integrity, both from within and without.

''That will be a fitting tribute to people like Mr Khushwant Singh who have all through their lfie, forcefully underscored the dangers which the communal, disruptive and sectarian elements are posing to the country.'' Mr Chatterjee complimented the foundation for instituting the prestigious award to propagate the ideals of national integration, communal harmony and universal brotherhood.

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