New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Manomhan Singh has cautioned the Narendra Modi-led government against the ‘imminent danger’, India is facing from the ‘trinity of social disharmony, economic slowdown and a global health epidemic – coronavirus. Also Read - PM Modi Discusses Coronavirus Pandemic With His Spanish Counterpart, Assures Support From India
Launching a scathing attack on the government over the recent communal clash in the North East districts of the national capital which claimed lives of 53 people, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the fire of social tensions is rapidly spreading across the nation and threatens to char the soul of our nation. Also Read - Total COVID-19 Cases in India Rise to 3,072, Death Toll Stands at 75 | Top Developments
In an article published in a leading newspaper Singh claimed that communal tensions were stoked and flames of religious intolerance fanned by ‘unruly sections of our society, including the political class’. “It can only be extinguished by the same people that lit it”, he writes in The Hindu. Also Read - Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul Support PM Narendra Modi's to Light Candles, Lamps for Medical Authorities Fighting Against Coronavirus Pandemic
At a time when country is witnessing severe economic crisis, the the impact of social unrest would only exacerbate the slowdown, the former PM said.
“Social harmony, the bedrock of economic development, is now under peril. No amount of tweaking of tax rates, showering of corporate incentives or goading will propel Indian or foreign businesses to invest, when the risk of eruption of sudden violence in one’s neighbourhood looms large,” the Congress veteran asserted.
On the issue of COVID-19, which has killed over 3300 people globally, Singh said India too must act swiftly and “announce a mission critical team that will be tasked with addressing the issue. There could be some best practices we can adopt from other nations”.
Later he suggested a three-point plan for the government — “First, it should focus all energies and efforts on containing the COVID-19 threat and prepare adequately. Two, it should withdraw or amend the Citizenship Act, end the toxic social climate and foster national unity. Three, it should put together a detailed and meticulous fiscal stimulus plan to boost consumption demand and revive the economy.”
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi must convince the nation, not merely through words but by deeds, that he is cognisant of the dangers we face and reassure the nation that he can help us tide over this as smoothly as we can. He must immediately provide details of the contingency plan for the threat of the COVID-19 scare”, the Congress veteran stated.