Former President Pranab Mukherjee while speaking at the inauguration of the two-day national conference on Towards Peace, Harmony and Happiness: Transition to Transformation, organised by Pranab Mukherjee Foundation along with the Centre for Research for Rural and Industrial Development, expressed concern over rising intolerance and violation of human rights, coupled with a widening gulf between the rich and poor with top one per cent rich pocketing the lions share of country’s wealth.
The land which gave the world the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam and the civilisational ethos of tolerance, acceptance and forgiveness, is now in news for rising levels of intolerance, manifestations of rage and infringement of human rights, Mukherjee said.
Peace and harmony prevails when a nation celebrates pluralism, practices tolerance and promotes goodwill among diverse communities and when we purge the toxin of hatred, envy, jealousy and aggression from our everyday lives, he said.
He said happiness is higher in countries that ensure their inhabitants basic amenities and resources, greater security, autonomy and freedom as well as sufficient educational opportunities and access to information. People are manifestly happier in countries where personal freedoms are guaranteed and democracy is secured.
Regardless of economic conditions, citizens are happy in a climate of peace, Mukherjee said.