Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi denounced mob lynchings in the name of cow protection, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed concerns about the kind of atmosphere being created in the name of religion in the country.
“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.
His comments come close on the heels of “Not in My Name” protests held across cities that underscored a spate of mob killings in the country, most recently of a 15-year-old boy, Mohammad Junaid, on a Delhi-Mathura train.
Emphasising on communal harmony and peace, the former PM, as quoted by news agency ANI, said: “We should create an atmosphere that is in accordance with the path shown by our Constitution and the law. Strengthen brotherhood and embrace each other (Hamare qanoon aur Constitution ne hamein jo sabak diya hai, aisa mahaul paida karein, bhaichare se gale milein).”
Singh also stressed on the need for unity for the sake of national interest. “We all Indians have to work together and protect national interest (Hum Hindustan mein rehne wale tamam baashindon ko kandhe se kandha mila kar Hindustan ki hifazat karni hai)”, ANI quoted him as saying.
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.
On Wednesday, thousands of people congregated at Jantar Mantra in Delhi and several other cities under the banner of “Not in My Name” to raise voice against the recent incidents of lynching.