Our resolve is to fight forces of divisiveness: Sonia

Our resolve is to fight forces of divisiveness: Sonia

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party veteran Karan Singh present Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award to former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi during the award function, in New Delhi on Monday. PTI

Former governor of West Bengal Gopalkrishna Gandhi was on Monday conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavna Award with former Congress president Sonia Gandhi saying the honour was an expression of the resolve to oppose ideologies that reject the composite essence of nationhood.

Sonia and senior Congress leader Karan Singh gave away the award to Gopalkrishna at a function here on the 75th birth anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

“In conferring this award on him, we collectively express our resolve to oppose the ideologies that reject the composite essence of our nationhood and to fight the forces of divisiveness, hate and bigotry,” she said.

Sonia recalled that Rajiv was an advocate of faster economic growth and modernisation, of making India a front-ranking scientific and technological power.

“But to him, growing prosperity and social liberalism were two sides of the same coin,” she said adding that technological capabilities would have little value in the climate of growing scientific obscurantism and social prejudice.

“We have seen that the opening of the economy and the closing of the mind is a dangerous and destructive mix,” she noted.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh called for arresting the “disturbing trends” of intolerance, communal polarisation and incidents of violent crimes propelled by hate groups and mobs being witnessed in the country.

He said such “unsavoury” trends can only harm national interests and are an anathema to the promotion of peace and communal harmony.