The Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu today termed the late Prime Minister, I K Gujral was a learned man, soft-spoken and a “gentleman-politician”, who never compromised on his values irrespective of the challenges or hardships he had faced.
He was releasing a commemorative postage stamp in the honour of IK Gujral through a virtual mode in New Delhi today. Speaking on the occasion, Venkaiah Naidu said, “Bearing an amiable demeanour, he was courteous to a fault and made friends across the political spectrum”, he added.
Describing the former Prime Minister as a multifaceted personality, he recalled that he had authored several books and used to enjoy reading and reciting poetry. He will be always remembered for the ‘Gujral Doctrine’ enunciated by him during his tenure as India’s External Affairs Minister, he added.
Appealing to all politicians to consider their opponents as rivals and not enemies, the Vice President wanted them to maintain good social relations. Asking all parties to follow the policy of ‘Nation first’, he wanted them to put their differences aside and support foreign policy in the national interest.
Pointing out that South Asia was home to almost a quarter of the world’s population, Naidu stressed that the SAARC regional grouping could become an effective and vibrant network to promote prosperity and well-being of the vast multitudes in the region only if all the countries come together sincerely in stamping out the scourge of terrorism.
Unless totally wiped out, the menace of terrorism would negate all the efforts to create a prosperous and flourishing future for all the people in South Asia, the Vice President cautioned.
Reiterating that India always believed in peaceful co-existence with all its neighbours and in maintaining friendly relations, the Vice President said: “Unfortunately, we have been facing relentless state-sponsored, cross-border terrorism for the past several years”.
The Vice President also wanted the United Nations to play a more pro-active role and step up its efforts in isolating nations sponsoring terrorist activities and in imposing sanctions against them. “The conclusion of deliberations at the UN and the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism cannot brook any further delay”, he added.
Emphasizing that peace and development should take precedence over everything else, he said: “peace is the prerequisite for progress and no development can take place without peace”.
He also wanted that present generations to be made aware of the life and contributions of great leaders such as Inder Kumar Gujral.
Member of Parliament Naresh Gujral, former MP Tarlochan Singh, Chief Post Master General-Tamil Nadu Circle B.Selvakumar, and Post Master General, Chennai City Region Smt. Sumathi Ravichandran were among those who had participated in the virtual event.