Need to arrest ‘unsavory trends’ of intolerance: Manmohan Singh

New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday urged the citizens to work collectively to defeat the ‘unsavory trends’ of the communal forces that are responsible for polarisation and violent crimes in the country.

While speaking at the Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award ceremony 2018 in New Delhi, Manmohan Singh said, “Today’s function is a celebration of Shri (Rajiv) Gandhi’s outstanding contribution to the promotion of peace, national integration and communal harmony. But it is also a solemn occasion on two counts. First, it is an occasion to pay homage to our beloved former Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi Ji whose memory we shall always cherish. The values Rajiv Ji lived and worked throughout his life for promotion were essentially the values that define our India’s nation hood- a broad secular outlook, the spirit of tolerance, commitment to communal harmony and empathy to others.”

“Another cause for solemn reflection today is some disturbing trend that our country has been witnessing over the past few years. Those unsavory trends of growing intolerance, communal polarization, growing incidence of violent crimes propelled by hatred of certain groups and of mobs taking the law in their own hand can only harm the national interest of our country,” he added.

The former prime minister added that there is an “anathema to the promotion of peace, national integration and communal harmony, which are the cherished objectives enshrined in our magnificent Constitution. All of us perhaps need to pause and reflect on how we can go together and contribute to arresting these trends.”

The Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award was conferred to former West Bengal Governor and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi for his contribution to peace and harmony through his writings.