Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: The former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda on Thursday warned the nation of the perils of uncontrolled casteism and communalism in recent years.

In a statement ahead of the Republic Day, Mr. Gowda said: “Lack of political will to resolve national issues dispassionately, erosion of the credibility of national institutions, electoral malpractices and corruption, and above all casteism and communalism pose serious threats to our nationhood today.

“Even as our people have made tremendous progress in several sectors of the economy and in different walks of life, the problem of poverty deprivation, malnourishment, unemployment, gender bias, rural backwardness, ever-growing urban-rural divide, farmer suicides, regional disparities and the widening chasm between the rich and the poor stare us in our face.

“The occasion of Republic Day not only reminds us of the immense sacrifices made by our founding fathers for the nation’s freedom but also of the unfulfilled tasks and challenges before us in establishing a real socialist, secular democratic and egalitarian social order in our country.”

Resolve differences

Mr. Gowda called upon the people to resolve narrow differences and work together to get rid of all the ills that plague the nation, foil the nefarious designs of the enemies to divide us on religious and linguistic lines, and fulfil the cherished dream of our forefathers to build a sovereign, secular and socialist republic “in the real sense of the term.”