Curb intolerance: Manmohan

August 21, 2018 12:00 am | Updated 11:53 am IST - New Delhi

Former PM says such ‘unsavoury trends’ are anathema to the promotion of peace

Former PM Manmohan Singh felicitating former diplomat Gopalkrishna Gandhi in New Delhi.Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Former PM Manmohan Singh felicitating former diplomat Gopalkrishna Gandhi in New Delhi.Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said every citizen needed to reflect on how to work together and arrest “disturbing trends” of intolerance, communal polarisation and incidents of violent crimes propelled by hate groups and mobs.

Speaking at an event to confer the Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award (2016-17) on the former West Bengal Governor and diplomat Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the former Prime Minister said such “unsavoury trends” were anathema to the promotion of peace, national integration and communal harmony.

Receiving the award, Mr. Gandhi said, “All those who are opposed to zabardasti [coercion], to bigotry, to the cult of fear and hate, to the centralisation of power, to the nexus of big power and big money need to work together. And that means shedding personal and institutional egos.”

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 who honoured Mr Gandhi.

Ms. Gandhi said conferring the award on Mr. Gopalkrishna Gandhi signified a “resolve to oppose the ideologies that reject the composite essence of our nationhood and to fight the forces of divisiveness, hate and bigotry”.

Remembering Rajiv Gandhi's contribution to promotion of peace, national integration and communal harmony, Dr Singh said the homage should also be marked by a reaffirmation of one's commitment to abide by these core values that the late Prime Minister stood for.

“The values Rajiv Gandhi 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,” Dr. Singh said.

Remembering Rajiv Gandhi as a leader who put India onto the 21st century with the IT and telecom revolution, brought about path-breaking changes like women’s reservation in Panchayati Raj institutions and allowed 18-year-old youths to vote, Ms. Gandhi took a swipe at the present regime. “We have seen that the opening of the economy and the closing of the mind is a dangerous and destructive mix,” he said.

Mr. Gandhi said, “The larger entity, the bigger leader, the bigger party or the larger community is expected to make the larger gesture … I envision the democratic parties and movements of India through the wisdom of their dynamism, harmonising their strengths to meet the challenge of harmony’s opposite: suspicion, bigotry and violence.”

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.