President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said diversity was a fact of life in India and cannot be wished away by any individual.
Delivering the first Arjun Singh memorial lecture here, Mukherjee said the purpose of religion was unity and it cannot be used for confrontation.
"Diversity is a fact in India. It cannot be turned into fiction by whims of individuals," he said.
On the occasion, Congress president Sonia Gandhi expressed concern over the "increasing threat to the secular fabric of the country".
She recalled her long association with former union minister Arjun Singh and said he was a true symbol of commitment to secularism and to the cause of the poor.