President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said that the Indian civilization has been known worldwide for its "ethos of acceptance and assimilation", urging people to preserve the "richness and diversity" of its culture.
Inaugurating beach festival ‘Festa De Diu’ here, he said India is known world over for the richness and diversity of its culture and each part of India has a district cultural milieu which has evolved over centuries."
Historically, Diu holds a special significance for the Parsi community as it was this part of India where they first landed.
Even on Tuesday, the Agyari (Parsi fire temple)and Dakhma (Parsi funeray tower) bear testimony to the historical journey of the Parsi Community in India.
"This ethos of acceptance and assimilation has defined the Indian civilization and made it a melting pot of the world. We must nurture and preserve this spirit which has made our country a rich amalgam of rainbow emotions," Mukherjee said.
Various cultural programmes, including tribal ‘Siddi Dhamal’ dance, performance by renowned classical singer Shubha Mudgal, laser show and firework were the main attraction during the function.
The President, who is on his first visit to Diu, said the Union Territory holds immense possibilities to draw tourists from all parts of India and the world.
The journey of the people of Daman & Diu in the last five decades has seen progress and development.
It’s advancement in the infrastructure and industrialization is noteworthy, he said.
"Being a small island territory which is blessed with such enrapturing beauty, tourism has to be a key driver of the economy and a source of livelihood. I am happy to note the concrete measures taken by the administration to give a boost the tourism," he said.
"The enhanced air connectivity with Air India commencing operations will give a major boost to tourism opportunities in the territory. I feel that Diu can become the tourism gateway for southern Gujarat and Diu-Somnath-Gir are a natural tourism circuit.
"Better connectivity and collaboration with Gujarat tourism will provide a greater fillip to the immense opportunities in this sector," Mukherjee said.
Nearly 17 lakh tourists had visited Diu and the figure for this year is likely to go up to 25 lakh.