New Delhi, June 30: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday raised concern over the kind of atmosphere being created in the name of religion. Singh’s remarks came in the backdrop of series of attacks on Muslims in different parts of the country, usually by cow vigilantes.
“Whatever atmosphere is being created in the name of religion (in our country), I am reminded of Iqbal’s couplet…’Mazhab nahin sikhata aapas mein bair rakhna, Hindi Hain Hum, Watan Hai, Hindosta Hamara’ (Religion does not teach us to bear ill-will among ourselves; We are of Hind, our homeland is Hindustan)”, he said.
Speaking at an Eid Milan function in the national capital, Singh said, “We all Indians have to defend the country by walking shoulder to shoulder. We have to stay in brotherhood and create an atmosphere that is in accordance with the path shown by our Constitution.”
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said killing people on pretext of protecting cows is not acceptable and warned that no one has the right to take law into his hands. “Nobody would have practised cow protection and cow worship more than Mahatma Gandhi and (his follower) Vinoba Bhave. They showed us the way how to protect cow. The country will have to adopt their way,” Modi said.
“The Indian Constitution also teaches us about cow protection. But does this (cow protection) give us any right to kill a person. Is this gau bhakti (cow worship)? Is this cow protection?” Modi asked.
“Killing people in the name of ‘gau bhakti’ is not acceptable,” he said adding that “This is not something Mahatma Gandhi would have approved.”
Modi’s remarks come in the wake of growing incidents of cow vigilantism. A Muslim youth was last week killed on board a Mathura-bound train by people who taunted his family and repeatedly called them “anti-nationals” and “beef eaters.”