for Press Trust of India on Oct. 18, 2008
Image from 1937 Marathi film Tukaram.
Indian President Pratibha Patil today said that the uncertainty and fear around the world caused by terrorism and religious hatred could be dealt with by spreading the age-old philosophy of Indian saints.
"When I meet the heads of state I get a feeling of uncertainty and fear caused due to various problems. There is a general atmosphere of fear caused due to terrorism and one religion fighting against the other. The philosophy and teachings of Indian saints can bring people together," Patil said at a function in Pune.
Patil spent the first part of her day today in visiting the temples dedicated to Saint Gyaneshwar and Saint Tukaram, both of which belong to the Bhakti cult, in the nearby Dehu.
Later, while speaking at the function near Saint Tukaram's temple, Patil said, "In today's world which is enamoured by globalisation and is blindly following the western culture, the teachings of saint Tukaram can be a good guide."
The Vilasrao Deshmukh government plans to spend Rs 434 crore to develop Dehu into a pilgrimage centre in the next three years.
"The development will be undertaken in consultation with Warkaris (pilgrims who leave their homes and spend a month travelling from Dehu to the Vittal temple in Pandharpur)," Deshmukh said on the occasion.