New Delhi, Mar 18 (ANI): President Pratibha Patil on Thursday said that literature plays an important role in building a strong and enlightened society.
Addressing the gathering after presenting the prestigious Moortidevi Award to Union Law and Justice Minister M Veerappa Moil, President Patil said: "Our aim is to build a strong nation and an enlightened society. In achieving this, literature plays an important role."
"While literature definitely requires a sound knowledge of language, it is much more than a command over the grammar and vocabulary of the language. Literature is a summation of the vast knowledge and imagination of the human race and it encapsulates the philosophy, values and traditions of a civilization," she added.
Presidnt Patil said that India has a long history of literature that covers the social, ethical, economic as well as political approaches.
"We indeed have a long history of literature in our country that covers the social, ethical, economic as well as political approaches and dilemmas faced by individuals, communities and nations," she said.
"At different points of time in the history of our country, there have been poets, writers, philosophers and religious leaders, who have spoken of the complexity of life, and propounded that the essence of a worthy life is one where the welfare of humanity is the guiding force," Patil added.
In her address, President Patil said every region of the country has produced literary giants who inspired people with richest of their ideas.
"Every region of our country has produced literary giants who have inspired and motivated people with the richness of their ideas and the intensity of human emotions," she said.
She further stressed that Kannada literature had a deep influence on Indian thought.
"There have been great literary works in Kannada literature from ancient times, which have had a deep influence on Indian thought. Its 'Vachana Sahitya' is literature for the common man in simple language and is unique," Patil said.
Patil said that it is the youth who are destined to play a major role in taking India forward, and making it a developed nation and it is important to nurture the mental, physical and spiritual aspects of their personality and also inculcate the right values in them.
"Literature has a social responsibility. It can have an inspirational influence when it profiles issues, which make our youth conscious, that a life without virtue is like a flower without fragrance. Literature can be an instrument of bringing harmony to society and strengthening national unity," she said.
President Patil also said that writers can contribute to the national integration process, as well as to eradicate social evils, by creating awareness amongst the people through their writings.
"Their writings can also be a unifying force for the country when they emphasize Indianness," she added.
Patil said that the Moortidevi Award being given to Moily is yet another acknowledgement of the significant ongoing work in Kannada Literature and described him as a writer, forayed into many forms of writing.
"Dr. Moily has tried to explore the principles of an ideal State in modern times. According to him, what present day India has to learn from the Ramayana is to build a nation out of many voices, many cultures and many peoples," Patil said.
"Clearly, in his vision, the values of secularism and multi-culturalism are essential for the future of India," she added. (ANI)