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Manmohan Singh Says Negative Atmosphere Being Created In Name Of Religion

NEW DELHI:  On a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi lashed out at violence in the name of cow protection, former Prime Minister 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.

Speaking at an Eid Milan function in the national capital, Manmohan Singh said: “The negative atmosphere being created in the name of religion (in our country)… reminds me of Iqbal’s couplet…’Mazhab nahin sikhata aapas mein bair rakhna…'(Religion doesn’t preach ill-will against each other…).”

Everybody should try to ensure communal harmony in the society and across religions, live like a family, Mr 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,” Mr 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 in the day, PM Narendra Modi had also lashed out at people who took the law into their own hands.  “Killing people in the name of Gau Bhakti is not acceptable,” said PM Modi. “No person in this nation has the right to take the law in his or her own hands in this country.”