Need to Arrest Trends of Intolerance, Polarisation: Manmohan Singh
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday, 20 August called upon the people to reflect on how to work together and contribute in arresting "disturbing trends" of intolerance, communal polarisation and incidents of violent crimes propelled by hate groups and mobs being witnessed in the country.
Addressing the Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award function, he said such "unsavoury" trends can only harm national interests and are an anathema to the promotion of peace and communal harmony.
The award was presented to former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.
Singh, along with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former union minister Karan Singh, who is the chairman of the advisory board of Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana award trust, were among those present.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi did not attend the function.
Manmohan Singh said the leadership and ideals of Rajiv Gandhi will always "act as a beacon for all, particularly in moments of great difficulty and confusion".
The former prime minister said they are also an anathema for promotion of peace, national integration and communal harmony, which are the cherished objectives enshrined in the Constitution.
"All of us need to pause and reflect on how we can work together and contribute to arresting these trends," he said.
Singh lauded Gopalkrishna Gandhi for speaking with courage and conviction on these trends, "holding up a mirror to our people at large".
He said he has pointed out that the "popularly held position need not be blindly accepted, but should be probed deeper to find out whether it is justified in wider national interest".