New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi has said that the nation is being divided in the name of narrow nationalism. The Congress president was speaking at the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration.
The Congress president who is expected to relinquish her post later this year stressed the need to bring people of all background together. She said that the country was getting increasingly divided in the name of “narrow nationalism” as “forces of darkness” seek to engulf it. Gandhi said the liberal, tolerant Indian ethos that former prime minister late Indira Gandhi embodied is being rejected and repudiated.
While speaking on the occasion, Mrs Gandhi said, “In today’s times, when our country finds itself increasingly divided in the name of a narrow nationalism, the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration is a recognition of the values she stood for”. Her speach was read out by her son and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.
Sonia went on to add, “The Award reminds all of us that like her we must be undaunted, unafraid and uncompromising against the forces of darkness that seek to engulf our land”. Sonia said the idea of India that Indira Gandhi fought for has been thrown fundamentally into question by the “rising intolerance” that one witnessed today. Dr Manmohan Singh, in his brief speech, called for reaffirming commitment to the values Indira Gandhi stood for and celebrate India’s diversity.
The former Prime Minister further said, “At a time when our society is facing a danger of deepening divisions, true patritism demands that we follow the path shown by Indira Gandhi and work for social and regional cohesion even as we celebrate our diversity,” Singh said. The Congress president said, “The liberal, tolerant Indian ethos that Indira Gandhi embodied in her life and beliefs is openly rejected and repudiated. The precious idea of national integration has never been more necessary than today.”
The Congress vice president and former prime minister Manmohan Singh jointly presented the award to Carnatic Music singer T M Krishna, for his exemplary services in promoting national integration.