Mumbai: Actress Dia Mirza says religion is something she explored and discovered but has never been her identity.
"I went to a school that followed philosophy of Jiddu Krishnamurthy. I am daughter of Christian father and Bengali mom and rose in a Muslim family so religion has never been my identity it's something I explored through course of time," she said at the Prithvi Festival on Thursday.
"Identification boundary limits a person. Religion and faith should be followed and practiced but should not be an identity," she said.
About the current scenario where protests against "growing intolerance" are increasing, Dia said: "I want to ask those who are questioning the returning of award that when one person receives such a great honour from our country, becomes compelled to take the tough decision to return that honour: How many people would have that largeness of heart and commitment to nation?
"Every individual who returned their award have every right to do so and that is their personal choice of protesting. This is a mark of protest because they feel strongly enough about, so they are doing," she said.
Dia, who has been involved with several causes like Cancer Patients Aid Association, and Spastics Society of India, and has worked extensively to spread HIV awareness, and prevention of female foeticide, says she believes politics and religion should be separate.
"The day when politics and religion will be treated independently, we can say we live in a democratic country," she said.