New Delhi, Sep 20 (PTI): Describing the Muzaffarnagar riots as “very sad”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said only a very small group of people was responsible for creating such trouble which needed to be checked.
Singh said India is a country where diverse religions have flourished together for centuries and have enriched each other and its people have an overall secular outlook.
“I believe that it is only a very small group of people that is responsible for creating divisions amongst us. I also believe that it is the solemn duty of each one of us to resist these forces,” he said at the national communal harmony awards function here.
The Prime Minister said the function was organised in the backdrop of heightened communal tensions in some parts of the country.
“These are very sad developments which should make us all reflect on our individual and collective obligations to promote goodwill and amity in our polity and society,” he said.
Singh said the country is characterised by great diversity and it also has a very proud legacy of tolerance and respect for ways of thinking other than one’s own.
“Let me take this opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of the Central Government to make every possible effort to promote communal harmony and national integration in our country,” he said, adding the government has called a meeting of the National Integration Council on September 23 to explore ways and means for achieving these ends.
The National Communal Harmony Award for 2011 have been given to Shri Khamliana of Mizoram and Md Abdul Bari of Odisha.
The award in the organisation category for 2012 was given to Delhi-based Foundation for Amity and National Solidarity.