Accepting and understanding of religions along with tolerance was necessary to build an inclusive and pluralistic society, Ansari said, inaugurating an Inter-faith Conference here.
"Tolerance is a pragmatic formula for the functioning of the society without conflict between different religions, political ideologies, nationalities, ethnic groups, or other us-versus-them divisions", he said.
Stating that tolerance is a virtue and freedom from bigotry, he said, "It is a version of the golden rule in that, as we want others to treat us decently, we need to treat them decently as well".
Ansari said the institutions of the state are expected to ensure that the principle of secularism is observed in letter and spirit in public life.
"The Constitution lays down that the conduct of the state shall be governed by the principle of secularism, that the state action must be determined by fairness, non-partisanship and impartiality", he said.

Quoting Swami Vivekananda, Ansari said, "We must not only tolerate other religions, but positively embrace them, as truth is the basis of all religions".

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