New Delhi, Sep 23 (ANI): Asserting that there is need to sustain communal harmony and national integration, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Monday said the frequency of such incidents, especially in the last few months, seem to suggest that there is a sinister motive behind them.
Addressing the 16th Meeting of the National Integration Council here, Shinde said: "The statistics on communal violence show an increasing trend in the last two years. The frequency of incidents, especially in the last few months, seems to suggest that there is a sinister motive behind them."
"It is noticed that the communal forces seem to have got emboldened and are trying to polarise the society. Minor incidents tend to get escalated into major incidents of violence, leading to displacement of affected communities," he added.
Shinde further said the country was proud of its legacy of tolerance and respect for each other and it is a nation of diverse cultures, languages and religions.
"We as a country are proud of our legacy of tolerance and respect for each other. We are a nation of diverse cultures, languages, and religions. Ours is the land where diverse religions have flourished together and the people have lived harmoniously," he said.
"In spite of this diversity, the invisible, but all-pervasive thread of being 'Indian', keeps us united. It is, therefore, our foremost duty to keep this 'torch of unity' shining bright under all circumstances. The tradition of communal harmony, tolerance and mutual respect have always been the distinguishing features of our civilization and polity. This tradition continues even today. Indeed, democracy can prosper and flourish only with strict adherence to secularism," he added.
Asserting that only a small group of people amongst us is responsible for creating divisions amongst us, Shinde said: "It is our duty to resist these forces. In addition, I feel, the institutions of our democracy must also be strengthened to meet the challenges that are becoming a threat to our pluralistic ethos."
"I would urge this forum to suggest the measures that should be adopted to strengthen the forces of national integration and to resolutely fight the divisive forces that threaten our social fabric," he added. (ANI)