Radhakrishnan’s Speech at Civic Reception Pondicherry – 12/07/1964


Speech at Civic Reception,


I am happy to be here to receive these generous words of welcome which your Chief Minister and Mayor have just mentioned.

In the days of our struggle for freedom, many of our freedom fighters took shelter here. Shri Aurobindo came here and settled down.

I was told that the French Ambassador laid the foundation-stone of the Medical College and it was given to me to inaugurate the new buildings. It is an illustration of Indo-French collaboration. I knew the French Ambassador quite well. He was a distinguished student and I had opportunities of meeting him very often.

People are talking about national integration. The time has come when we should work for international integration also. The world is becoming one single whole. One international community is the vision that all great people have for this world and that kind of community is possible not by political arrangements or economic alliances but by an understanding of the cultures of the different peoples. Here, in Pondicherry, you have had the expression of French culture and both French and Indian cultures are meeting here. International integration in a small way is starting in Pondicherry. I have no doubt that a time will come when people will feel at home in every part of the world.

They will feel that the whole world is their home and every culture is their heritage. The people of Pondicherry who are absorbing two different types of culture, the French culture and the Indian culture, should be better off than others in the rest of the country. I only hope that this duality will contribute to the wholeness of outlook and help to make Pondicherry a model state of the Indian Union. I hope the people of Pondicherry will preserve their dual heritage and
work for an integrated outlook, a kind of outlook the whole world will have to work for, if it is to survive. There is no other alternative open to us in these days of devastating nuclear weapons. We have to understand one another and live together or we misunderstand one another and destroy ourselves.

I hope the people of Pondicherry will provide an example of what the people in other parts of the country and the world have to do.

Thank you for your kind words and I wish you and the people of Pondicherry the best of luck.

Pondicherry, 12 July, 1964

SOURCE: President Radhakrishnan’s speeches and writings, May 1964-May 1967 by Radhakrishnan, S. (Sarvepalli), 1888-1975 -Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India


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