While maintaining that freedom of expression is important, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said it should not hurt the feelings of others.
Emphasising that secularism is embedded in the Indian consciousness, the Vice President advised that individuals should exercise their freedom of expression keeping in mind that the unity of the country is more important.
"You would need to have freedom to express, you need to have freedom to have your beliefs... but your expression should not hurt others; you have no liberty to create social tensions, that has to be kept in mind."
"Dissent is agreeable. But nowadays, some sort of a debate is going on that you have freedom and you want to do this, you want to do that, but freedom also has some limitations," Naidu told a gathering of students, academicians and others after inaugurating the 15th edition of the Indian School of Business (ISB) Leadership Summit-2017 here.
While pointing out that "regulation is very much needed in a democracy... for it to survive", Naidu said that regulation was needed in all aspects of life.
"If you go out of this Mohali campus and take your vehicles and if no norms or rules are followed and you try to move (on roads) as you like, you know what fate you will meet. That is why some regulation is needed," he said.
Referring briefly to voices being aired about intolerance in the country, Naidu said: "There may be some incidents here and there, but you cannot brand the entire society."
He said that secularism is strong in India not because of the Constitution, "but because it is in the DNA of Indian people". Secularism is embedded in the Indian consciousness since the time of Vedas and Puranas, he said.
Referring to India's history, the Vice President said that India was always invaded and ruled by others but it was never the aggressor. He said that there should be no discrimination on basis of religion, appeasement of no one and justice for all.
Advising the ISB students to be ready for future challenges, Naidu said: "To transform tomorrow we must act today and for this we must learn from our ancient past and ancestors as history is a great guide for the decisions of today."
"We must take pride in our heritage, culture and traditions. We must not shun these aside in the face of western influences. Going with your theme to unravel the future of India we must work hard together to create an ideal country with ideal people," he said.
"You must become job seekers and job makers, make dreams come true and scale new heights," Naidu added.