In a speech at the UNESCO here, he emphasised his vision of inclusiveness and said cultures, traditions and religions should be used to overcome the rising tide of extremism, violence and divisions across the world.

They had built a modern state in an ancient land, with a timeless tradition of openness and co-existence and, a society of extraordinary diversity,the Prime Minister cited.

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"We will defend and protect the rights and liberty of every citizen. We will ensure that every citizen of every faith, culture and creed has an equal place in our society; belief in her future; and the confidence to pursue it," the Prime Minister added.

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Modi's assurance assumes significance as there have been apprehensions among minorities following attacks on churches in some places and the ghar vapsi campaign of Sangh Parivar outfits.

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Observing that the strength of a nation is determined by the "joined hands of every citizen" and the "real progress is measured through empowerment of the weakest", he asserted, "this has been our creed since we assumed office nearly a year ago".


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