Stating that Christmas reminds us all to live up to the ideals and values preached and practiced by Jesus Christ, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu said Christmas is the festival of love, joy and sharing. It is a time to renew our commitment to love and serve our families, communities and society; to be just and transparent in our dealings; to promote social and economic inclusion of all; to promote lasting peace between people of different religions and cultures and to promote sustainable development, he added.
The Vice-President said every individual must revere his/her mother, mother tongue, birth place and motherland. Shri Venkaiah Naidu said it is the duty of every Indian to preserve and protect our culture. Let me once again clarify that religion is personal, while culture is a way of life, he added.
Lauding that the Catholic community is a peace-loving community and has been working with every Government, both at the Centre and in the States, to promote people’s welfare, the Vice-President said the Catholic Church in India has been effectively contributing to the nation building process in a number of ways.
“As you all are aware, education is the most important tool for transformation of the society through enlightenment and empowerment. Education is meant to bring out all the good qualities of head and heart in an individual by instilling the values of compassion, morality and ethics. It must help in building character, enhancing capacity, promoting good conduct and patriotism,” the Vice-President said.
Applauding the social and welfare activities of the Chruch, Shri Venkaiah Naidu the Catholic Church runs hospitals and other healthcare facilities in the remote areas of the country and serves millions of poor patients through its healthcare programmes. The Catholic communities in India along with the Christian community as a whole have been assiduously engaged in contributing their share to the building of a New India, which is united and strong, he said.
Shri Venkaiah Naidu said the Feast of the birthday of Jesus – the Christmas – is a season of great joy and celebrations. During Christmas, the Christians express gratitude to God, greet one another with joy, peace and exchange gifts. Christmas is a joyful celebration of the Birthday of Jesus Christ and people all over the world, irrespective of caste, creed and nationality, celebrate Christmas with great joy and gaiety, he added.
“Jesus’ message is meant for all seasons, for all cultures, for all religions and for all nationalities. In fact, all religions preach love, peace, brotherhood and affection,” said Shri Venkaiah Naidu.