Conflict, difference of opinion growing in society: President

Dantan: Amid protests in Bhangar in West Bengal over land acquisition and over Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday raised concern about “growing conflict and difference of opinion” in the society and said there was a stronger need to enhance mutual respect.

“These days whenever you see newspaper and watch TV, there is news of regular violence. I am not talking about international violence, but it is also about violence in our minds, our conscious and conflict in our souls,” Mukherjee said after inaugurating the 28th Dantan Gramin Mela here.

“I am talking about day to day small incidents, not about international violence. There were conflicts and difference of opinion earlier also. But now this kind of situation is increasing day by day,” he said without directly referring to the ongoing protests in Bhangar in West Bengal and over Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu.

Mukherjee said that earlier, such conflicts used to be prevented at a local level but now “it is spreading like anything”.

Expressing concern that “the world is becoming more violent”, the President said: “It is not the general trend of human society. People used to love each other, accept each other, and not reject. The human psychology is to love each other and not spread hatred.”

In the present scenario, there is a stronger need for enhancing mutual respect, he exhorted.

He also mentioned that earlier people never used to get know incidents of violence, but now they are aware thanks to key role being played by the media.

Talking about the Dantan Gramin Mela, Mukherjee said that such rural fairs bring hope for brotherhood, harmony and peaceful co-existence among people.

“You cannot see this kind of mela in urban areas. There are always huge gatherings. These types of mela reflect eternal sense of rural areas,” he said.

Such melas help increase personal touch among cross section of society. “This is very important in respect of global context,” he added.

The President recalled a few lines by famous Bengali writer Tara Shankar Bandyopadhyay and said: “Sei mela te kobe jabo? Thikana ki hay re? Je Melate gan thame na, Rater adhar nai re… (When I will go to that fair? What is the address? Where songs do not stop and where there is always light)”.

He said that Dantan, also known as “dandabhukti” was a thriving town en route to Jagannath temple in Puri.