Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday reiterated the words of late Rajiv Gandhi that secularism is the bedrock of our nationhood and that it involves an active effort to create harmony.
Speaking at 'Rajiv Gandhi Janma Pancha Sapthathi Samaroh', an event organised by Rajiv Youth Foundation on the occasion of Gandhi's 75th birth anniversary, Singh said, "The trend of growing intolerance and mob culture is harming the society, we must continue our journey on a path shown by Rajiv ji."
"Nothing is more important than the unity and integrity of our nation. India is indivisible. Secularism is the bedrock of our nationhood. It implies more than tolerance. It involves an active effort for harmony. No religion preaches hatred and intolerance. Vested interests, both external and internal, are acting and exploiting communal passions and violence to divide India. No religion teaches communalism," Singh said quoting Gandhi.
Speaking about the increasing incidence of mob violence and the need to reflect on how we can contribute to arresting these trends, he said, "Another cause of reflection today is some disturbing trends that our country has been witnessing over the past few years. These unpleasant trends of growing intolerance, communal polarisation, growing incidences of violent crimes propelled by hate groups and of mobs taking the law in their own hands can only damage our polity."
Singh added that such disturbing trends are "repugnant to the promotion of peace, national integration and communal harmony, which are cherished objectives in our Constitution".
Remembering the late Prime Minister, Singh said, "While we continue to mourn his untimely loss, we derive strength from his endeavours and his achievements in a short time."
"He was the one who truly set the direction for equipping our nation for entering the new millennium with a progressive, modern and scientific outlook," he added.
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