Social tension threatening to char the soul of the nation: Manmohan Singh

Suggesting withdrawal of the Citizenship Act, Manmohan Singh said institutions of justice, the fourth pillar of democracy - the media, have failed us

Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh

NH Political Bureau

In the wake of Delhi riots that have claimed over 54 lives so far and the deepening economic crisis, former PM Manmohan Singh made a heartfelt appeal to the nation, asserting that the rising social tension among communities is threatening to char the soul of the nation.

In a column written for The Hindu, the former Prime Minister says, “With no checks, the fire of social tensions is rapidly spreading across the nation and threatens to char the soul of our nation. It can only be extinguished by the same people that lit it”.

“It is both futile and puerile to point to past instances of such violence in India’s history to justify the present violence in the country. Every act of sectarian violence is a blemish on Mahatma Gandhi’s India.”

Appealing to the Prime Minister to convince the nation not through words but deeds, Singh highlighted that India was facing a three-pronged challenge of coronavirus, economic slowdown and protests and riots across the country.

“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,” wrote Singh.

Expressing his apprehensions, Manmohan Singh said that he worries that the “potent combination” of social disharmony, economic slowdown and global health epidemic “may not only rupture the soul of India but also diminish our global standing as an economic and democratic power in the world”.

The former PM in his column lamented that while university campuses, public places and private homes are bearing the brunt of communal violence, “institutions of law and order have abandoned their dharma to protect citizens”.

“Institutions of justice and the fourth pillar of democracy, the media, have also failed us,” added Manmohan Singh.

The former PM also suggested a three-point plan in his column to tackle the challenges faced by India: focus all efforts to contain COVID-19, amend or withdraw the Citizenship Act, put together a meticulous fiscal stimulus plan to boost consumption.

He concluded the column by saying that “a moment of deep crisis can also be a moment of great opportunity”. Manmohan Singh said that it is time to confront the harsh reality and face the challenges squarely and sufficiently.

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Published: 06 Mar 2020, 11:55 AM