Invoking the legacy of Swami Vivekananda, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Sunday asked the people to counter the threat posed by religious fanaticism and asserted that true religion cannot be the basis of hatred and division, in comments seen as a veiled attack on the BJP and its PM candidate Narendra Modi.
“His truly great message, which is of great relevance to our country and our sub-continent, was that true religion and true religiosity cannot be the basis of hatred and division but of mutual respect and tolerance towards the faiths and beliefs of all,” the PM said, while paying tribute to the memory of the pioneering spiritualist on his 150th birth anniversary.
“I urge every young Indian, irrespective of faith and religion, to be inspired by such a man as they build their own future,” he said.
According to the PM, Vivekananda’s syncretic views, which said “All who have actually attained any real religious experience never wrangle over the form in which the different religions are expressed. They know that the soul of all religions is the same and so they have no quarrel with anybody just because he or she does not speak in the same tongue”, had been a source of great inspiration for him personally.
“India’s true liberation would come when every Indian feels liberated from the scourge of poverty, ignorance and disease. This great motherland of ours, has much to learn from the world around us and, equally, much to teach the world,” the Prime Minister said.
“Let us in all humility imbibe these lessons from Vivekananda... learn to be tolerant of one another, have respect for all religions,” Manmohan added.
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