Panaji, Nov 9 (PTI) Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday said India has changed so much that it will not see an Emergency-like period again.
He was speaking after releasing Goa Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai's 200th book “Vaman Vriksha Kala” at the Raj Bhavan. The book is about the art of growing bonsai trees.
The vice president recalled that Pillai's 100th book was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“That book was about the dark days of Emergency. It was a coincidence that the prime minister was releasing that book,” he said.
“I have no doubt that India has grown to a level that India will never be visited by such dark days again. No power on the Earth can deprive our population of their fundamental rights, human rights,” Dhankhar added.
Emergency (imposed by then prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1975) certainly was the "darkest period of our history (from where) we have to move ahead and learn our lessons,” he further said.
Dhankhar gave the first copy of Pillai's book to Jnanpith award winner Damodar Mauzo who was present on the occasion along with Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.
The vice president in his speech also said it was time each of us took a pledge that the planet is not meant only for human beings. “The planet is for living beings. Everyone has the right to be on the planet. We are trustees of the planet,” he said.
Humans cannot say that "I will use water, energy, petroleum, gas because I can afford", the vice president said, adding, "my fiscal power has nothing to do with utilization of natural resources".
Talking about Pillai's latest book, Dhankhar said it reminds one that India's civilization ethos, values and wisdom are more than 5,000 years old.
“We can't look for wisdom elsewhere. It is there in our Vedas and Upanishads. That is a point the governor has reaffirmed in the book,” he added.
But there is a general perception that bonsai trees came from Japan or China, he noted.
During the function, a 94-year-old farmer was overwhelmed when the vice president touched his feet.
As Dhankhar arrived at the Raj Bhavan's new Durbar Hall and was walking through the crowd to reach the dais, he noticed nonagenarian Vishwanath Gadhadhar Kelkar who was among the invitees.
Clad in dhoti, Kelkar, a farmer and former deputy sarpanch of a village, smilingly greeted Dhankhar.
After chatting with him for two minutes, Dhankhar, who comes from a farming background, touched his feet and took blessings before heading for the stage. PTI RPS KRK