Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan says a nation that isn't united, shouldn't be called a nation.
Amitabh spoke at the iconic Gateway of India here on the 10th anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, as part of the third edition of '26/11 Stories of Strength' by Indian Express. He was joined by veteran writer Javed Akthar.
Talking about the power of oneness and unity, Amitabh said: "On this same place last year, we pledged that we would never give shelter to terror and today we want our dream to be realized to reawaken to the power of love and oneness. We should be united to give fearless life for our future generation.
"Today, people who have a destructive mindset are knocking our doors, but we can't fight them with similar mentalities. We can tackle it with oneness and it is the need of the hour. They don't fear with our weapons or with our strength but they will feel fearful when we will stand together against them. They want us to get divided in terms of our religion, language, state and tradition so, we should keep that in mind that till the time we will be divided, they will try to harm us."
Big B said a united nation is a way of building a nation.
"Being united is not a social option but it's a way of building a nation. I think being united is proof of being a nation and if a nation isn't united, then I am sorry to say that it shouldn't be called as a nation. We have to create an environment for our future generations where destructive minds would not be able to harm us."
Touching upon the evils of terrorism, Big B said: "Terrorism is not just about holding the power to kill us but it is designed to destroy the integrity of our oneness. It is a desire to make children become slaves. It is kind of collective selfishness which divides humanity into parts and portions for eventual consumption which means the oneness is not able to work on its main purpose which is development and growth."
The actor said India's singularity is too strong to be broken by cowards.
"We have drawn lines, continents, and nations on this planet but our planet is one. We have drafted lots of faith and beliefs but humankind is one and humanity is one. Our oneness, unity, and singularity are not limited to fighting with terror and anti-social ideologies. Our singularity is too vast to be shaken by limited horizons. Our solidarity is too strong to be broken by cowards.
"We must define ourselves not by what we are against but by what we are for and what we can be for if we are there for each other," Big B added.
Recounting the aftermath of the horrific night when terror struck Mumbai, Akthar said: "I clearly remember that evening just after few days of that horrific and barbarian terrorist attacks, people of Mumbai had gathered here in front of Gateway of India. At that time, we were furious, outraged and angry but at the same time, we were together and united.
"This is what Mumbai is. We are known as a commercial capital of India and I suppose commercial is not supposed to have heart, but whenever such kind of calamity has hit the city -- whether it's a terrorist attack, flood or any other calamity, Mumbai and Mumbaikars have shown that this city has had its heart at the right place."
Akhtar also recited his poem "Mumbai ko Salaam" to pay tribute to people who have lost their lives in the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack.
Also present at the event were Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and singer Javed Ali among others.
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