M A Yusuffali Receives Rashtra Sewa Award 

Rashtra Sewa Awards

New Delhi: The first-ever Rashtra Sewa Awards, instituted by Delhi-based Krishna Foundation, were presented to M A Yusuffali industrialist and philanthropist, and P Parameswaran,  scholar and social philosopher, by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu at a function held here. Each award carries an amount of Rs. 2 lakh, plaque and citation.

The Vice President said Yusuffali’s services to the nation by employing tens of thousands of countrymen in his business concerns spread across the world were unparalleled.  Naidu recalled having urged Yusuffali to extend his services to Andhra Pradesh, the Vice-President’s home state, and the latter having obliged by launching various projects there. O Rajagopal MLA received the award on behalf of P Parameswaran.

Naidu said on the occasion that Hinduism is not a religious concept but the “broader cultural identity” of the nation. “Living for others is part of our culture, Indian culture, Bharatiya culture…whatever you call it. According to me, Hinduism is not a religious concept but a broader cultural identity of India,” he said.

“Religion is a way of worship. When we talk of culture, it’s a way of living,” he said. Despite differences based on castes, creeds and regions, India is one. “We have ‘inherited a great civilisation’ and we must preserve it by eradicating the social evils which persist in the country. In the 70 years of independence, the country has struggled with many evils – poverty, corruption, illiteracy, terrorism, religious fundamentalism, atrocities on weaker sections, gender discrimination… These things really need to be taken care of,” he said.

India was known as ‘Vishwaguru’ in the olden times, which bore ‘men of calibre’ and its mottos had been ‘Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah’ and ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. “These are our mottos. This is the identity of our nation,” Naidu said. Social evils, such as untouchability and gender discrimination, must be isolated and condemned and “society must be educated on those lines,” he added.

Justice Kurien Joseph of Supreme Court; P J Kurien, Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha; Mahesh Sharma, Minister for Culture; T K A Nair, former bureaucrat; Omcherry N N Pillai, writer; and Babu Panicker were among those present. T K A Nair, Omcherry N N Pillai, K Madhavan Nair, A T Sainudeen, Babu Panicker, Biji Nair, Dr. Ramesh Nambiar, K Raghunath, K P Vinod Kumar, K B Ajithan and K Venugopal are the trustees of Krishna Foundation.