Fri, Dec 2, 2016 | updated 11:33 PM IST

Rajiv Gandhi is the finest expression of 'Sadbhavna', says Dr. Manmohan Singh

Updated: Aug 20, 2016 19:51 IST

New Delhi, Aug.20 (ANI): Commemorating Rajiv Gandhi's contributions at the Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavna award presentation function here today, former prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said that if 'Sadbhavna' is the idea of India, Rajiv Gandhi is its finest expression

Dr. Singh said, "Love and compassion towards all was his defining quality. Rajiv ji personified the 'Sadbhavna' idea of India that emerged from our national movement , led by Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. India has a community dedicated to mutual love, not hatred; compassion, not cruelty; non-violence, not brutality; tolerance, not anger; pluralism and freedom, not hegemony; inclusion, not exclusion; harmony and unity, not conflict and division."

He said that we must recall and recommit ourselves to Rajeev ji's spirit of 'Sadbhavna.'

"It is a most fitted tribute to him that 23rd Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavna award to Shrimati Shubha Mudgal for her outstanding the contribution towards promotion of communal harmony, peace and goodwill through the medium of music. I congratulate her for have being chosen by the jury for this prestigious award," he added.

The former prime minister further said that Shubha ji is most influential in public, standing fearlessly and firmly for 'Sadbhavna' and against intolerance.

"She is moving people towards peaceful co-existence and social harmony through the intrinsic beauty of music. She has used her matchless gift and immeasurable talent in the best interest of our people and our nation," he said.

"The unstoppable power of rhythm, melody and harmony has an antidote to win intolerance, hate and violence, appealing to the best in human spirit, awakening the true spirit of Sadbhavna and its worth," Singh concluded.

Speaking on the occasion Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi expressed his happiness and said, "It's my pleasure to be here to honor and bring together two music lovers- Shubha Mudgal ji and my father Rajiv Gandhi ji the two very different types of musicians, with a shared love for music."

Stating that music is about creating harmony and a bond between the singer and the listener, Gandhi said, "Shobha ji has used her art to bring millions of people together. Her songs have broken barriers and brought harmony to the lives of hundreds of thousands of our people. My father Rajiv Gandhi did the same in politics. He carried millions of people together bringing India closer and allowing it to imagine a collective dream - a dream for everybody."

"But, the few may feel they are thriving in India today, we are proud to honor you ma'am and the many millions like you, who stand for everyone in this country. We honor musicians like you Shobha ji, like my father and like millions of Indian, who have rid their hearts of fear and hatred," he added

Meanwhile, the Congress vice president also said that there are people who prefer a divided and divisive India, an India that is out of tune with itself and with the world and seek to spread disharmony, these are the forces that wish to break the bonds between us.

"They are unfortunately in India today, men and women who actively promote disharmony, who humiliate and separate, who isolate and kill," he said.

Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavna Award is an award given for outstanding contribution towards promotion of communal harmony, national integration and peace.

The award was instituted by All India Congress Committee of the Indian National Congress Party (INC), in 1992 to commemorate the lasting contribution made by the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, carries a citation and a cash award of Rs. five lakh.(ANI)