Bengaluru: Former President Pranab Mukherjee Thursday said universal humanity needs to be "preserved and protected," as he called on youngsters to expand their horizons. He also stressed on the need for research, pointing out that Indian universities for centuries have attracted minds towards innovation.
"Research is very fundamental to the spread of education, to the enlightenment of mind and to its expansion," Mukherjee said.
Addressing the golden jubilee valedictory celebration of Christ (deemed to-be University) here, he told students, "Expand yourself, expand your horizon, expand your mental framework, expand your visions, and you will find that the world belong to you, you belong to the world."
"Yes you are the proud citizens of this great country, member of this oldest civilization, but as well you are the citizens of the world, you are part of universal humanity and that universal humanity is to be preserved, protected and continued with the civilizational values," he added.
Speaking on the history of research in the country, Mukherjee, a Bharat Ratna awardee, pointed out that for 1,800 years, not one or two centuries, but for 18 centuries, India lead the world in higher education.
"From the olden days of Takshashila university in 6th century BC to Nalanda in 12 century AD Indian universities attracted mighty minds in the form of teachers, students, researchers who spent time and energy in innovation and discovery," he said.
Noting that our civilizations from the very beginning has thought us about the concept of "over all inclusive", the former President said, "it includes all it does not reject any body, it absorbs all, it synthesizes all and in the process of synthesisation India has grown over the millennia."
Speaking about the difference between politician and a statesmen, he said, to my mind politician deals with the present, statesman looks for the future.