PM calls for goodwill to confront forces of hatred

August 20th, 2008 - 10:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday stressed on `Sadbhavna’ (goodwill) to “confront forces trying to spread hatred and disharmony among different sections of our society”. “The culture of Sadbhavana is the foundation of Indian civilization. It is nourished equally by all the different faiths, which have flourished for centuries in our country. The father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, laid down his life for it,” Singh said at the presentation of 16th Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award here.

“This tradition of Sadbhavna faces a grave challenge today. The divisive forces at work seek to challenge the very essence of what we understand as India,” Singh said.

The award was conferred upon Gandhian activist N. Radhakrishnan for promoting communal harmony, peace and goodwill.

Terming late former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi as embodiment of Sadbhavana, Singh said: “His message of harmony becomes most relevant at this time when we once again confront forces trying to spread hatred and disharmony among different sections of our society.”

Lauding Rajiv Gandhi, Singh said: “He relied upon methods of dialogue and reconciliation to defeat the forces of hatred and violence. He took bold measures to restore peace and harmony in some of the strife-torn parts of our country, notably in Punjab, Assam and Mizoram.”

Congress president Sonia Gandhi said: “India today faces problems like violence, terrorism, social tension, illiteracy and absence of political morality. The political class of today has to set example by practicing more than preaching.”

She gave credit for strengthening social unity to Rajiv Gandhi. “He always thought in the interest of the country and society. He had to face many problems but still he kept on walking on that path and sacrificed his life for it,” Sonia Gandhi said.

The programme was attended by various dignitaries, including Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi.

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