Terming tolerance as the need of the hour, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said that no religion teaches one to be intolerant and that Hinduism with its message to respect all has evolved into a "universal religion".
"We must be broad minded. No religion has taught us to be intolerant. Hinduism is a universal religion with its broadness and teachings to respect people belonging to all other faiths," Banerjee said inaugurating the centenary celebration of 'Bharat Sevashram Sangha' here.
"India's culture gives the lesson of unity in diversity irrespective of caste, creed and religion," she said.
The CM said that the century old tradition of the Bharat Sevashram Sangha in helping the people in distress, has earned the humanitarian organisation enormous goodwill in the country and abroad.
"We are proud of being able to confer 'Banga Bibhushan' on this respectable organisation for social service in 2015," the Chief Minister said while pledging all help and cooperation to the organisation.
Earlier, Banerjee had in a tweet conveyed best wishes to the people of all communities on the occasion of 'Harmony Day'.
Speaking on the occasion, Bangladesh Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan also lauded the Bharat Sevashram Sangha for its social work in the neighbouring country, especially during flood and cyclones in past years.
Khan recalled memories of his association with Sangha's service to humanity on various occasions in Bangladesh.
The Bharat Sevashram Sangha General Secretary Swami Biswatmananda Maharaj said the centenary celebration attended by the national and international dignitaries, was the beginning of a series of programmes to be held throughout the year.
Founded by Swami Pranavanandaji Maharaj in 1917, at Faridpur in Bangladesh, the Bharat Sevashram Sangha is considered one of the biggest social service organisations in India.
'India's culture gives the lesson of unity in diversity.'