Chennai: Speaking at an event in Chennai today, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu asserted that respect for all religions was inherent “in the Indian blood” and remarked that secularism does not mean ‘insult’ or appeasement of one particular faith.

The Vice President was attending the Centenary Celebrations of ‘Sri Ramakrishna Vijayam,’ a Tamil Monthly Magazine brought out by Ramakrishna Mission in Chennai.

Addressing the event which coincided with the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Naidu said people should forever remember him and propagate his teachings and preachings “which are eternal for the betterment of mankind.”

Naidu hailed Swami Vivekananda as a ”great saint, teacher and social reformer” and said that he played a major role in introducing Hinduism to the West.

“He was a social reformer and was against religious dogmas and believed in the uplift of humanity irrespective of caste or creed and emphasised that spiritualism is important for the survival of mankind,” Naidu said.

Swami Vivekananda also said he belonged to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all nations of the earth, Naidu stressed.

“Now also we are ready to accept those who are persecuted though some people are trying to make it controversial and all,” he said in an apparent reference to the opposition to the NDA government’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.

“That is our culture, our heritage. This is what our forefathers have told us,” the Vice President added.