Vested interests working to divide India: Manmohan

Former PM Manmohan Singh pays tribute to the former prime minister the late Rajiv Gandhi on his 75th birth anniversary, at Veer Bhumi in New Delhi, Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Voicing concern over incidents of “growing intolerance and communal polarisation over the past few years, former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday stressed on the need to arrest such trends.

The words of caution came as Congress kick-started its week-long commemoration of former prime minister late Rajiv Gandhi's 75th birth anniversary here.

“No religion preaches hatred and intolerance. Vested interests, both external and internal, are inciting and exploiting communal passions and violence to divide India,” Singh said here.

He said certain unpleasant trends of “growing intolerance, communal polarisation, growing incidence of violent crimes propelled by hatred of certain groups and of mobs taking the law in their own hands can only damage our polity.”

“They are repugnant to the promotion of peace, national integration, and communal harmony, which are cherished objectives enshrined in our Constitution. All of us need to reflect on how we can contribute to arresting these trends,” Singh said.

Earlier, former President Pranab Mukherjee, top Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Singh, and scores of party workers paid tributes to late Rajiv Gandhi at his 'Vir Bhumi' memorial here.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her predecessor Rahul Gandhi distributed motorised vehicles for the specially-abled also inaugurated an exhibition 'Memories and Archives of Rajiv Gandhi' here.

While the birth anniversary celebrations were held at Congress offices across the country, a grand national event has been planned at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Thursday where party leaders from panchayat to the AICC will be present.

Facing the heat from an aggressive BJP, Congress had decided to remind the youth about Rajiv Gandhi's contribution to nation-building, including in ushering in the information technology revolution which has made Digital India possible.

“He (Rajiv Gandhi) completely digitised telephone lines and brought railway lines on digital tracks,” Rahul Gandhi said in a video posted to mark his father's birth anniversary.

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