President Ram Nath Kovind today lavished praise on the Christian community in Kerala, saying it was a symbol of India's non-negotiable commitment to diversity and pluralism. Inaugurating the centenary celebrations of St Thomas College here, today, Kovind said the community's heritage and history was a matter of "immense pride" for the country. "The Christian community in Kerala is one of the oldest not only in India but anywhere else in the world," the president noted. Kovind said the real value of education lies in how we learn to help fellow human beings and not in degrees.
The greatest service to God is to help another person, to heal another person and to spread the light of knowledge and St Thomas College has been part of this noble culture, he said. Last year during his visit to Ethiopia, President said he was moved as people there remembered the services of Indian teachers, many of them from Kerala and from the community, who had educated generations of Ethiopian children. The college is the alma mater of two former Kerala chief ministers -- E M S Namboodiripad and C Achutha Menon. Spiritual leader Swami Chinmayananda was once a student here, Kovind said. Meanwhile, the security near the centenary celebrations venue was on high alert as a temple priest, in an inebriated state yesterday, threatened to blow up the college. The man had been arrested.