HOURS AFTER Prime Minister Narendra Modi denounced mob lynchings in the name of cow protection, former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh made a rare intervention to express concern at the kind of atmosphere being created in the name of religion in the country.
The backdrop of the former Prime Minister's remarks is a series of attacks on Muslims in different parts of the country, usually by cow vigilantes. On Wednesday, thousands of people had also come out in several part of the country under the "Not in My Name" campaign to protest mob violence and atrocities against Muslims and Dalits.
"The atmosphere being created in the name of religion reminds me of Iqbal’s couplet (Mazhab ke naam pe jo galat asar phailaya ja rha hai, mujhe Allama Iqbal ki ek nazm yaad aati hai)…’Mazhab nahin sikhata aapas mein bair rakhna” (Religion doesn’t preach ill-will against each other),” Singh said, while speaking at an Eid Milan function organised in Delhi, as quoted by news agency ANI.
Everybody should try to ensure communal harmony in the society and across religions, live like a family, Dr. Singh said.
"We have to stay in brotherhood and create an atmosphere that is in accordance with the path shown by our Constitution and the law," Dr. Singh said.
As prime minister too, the Congress leader often called fighting divisive communal forces one of the biggest challenges for society as well as for law enforcement agencies.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flayed self-styled ‘gau rakshaks’ and said killing people in the name of protecting the cow was "unacceptable” that Mahatma Gandhi would never approve of, "No person in this nation has the right to take the law in his or her own hands in this country."