Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday said the government and
civil society groups must keep an eye on and protest against those
who resort to violence in the name of religion to spread disharmony.
"I believe that both the government
and civil society groups must continuously watch and raise our voice
against groups and individuals who use violence in the name of
religion," the prime minister said at a function to present the
Kabir Puraskar and National Communal Harmony Awards for the years
2007 and 2008.
The awards were given away by
President Pratibha Patil.
Singh said, "No religion sanctions violence. No religion preaches
hatred. No religion endorses animosity towards another human being.
Those who use religious symbols and forums to talk of violence,
sectarianism and discord cannot be said to be true spokesperson of
their respective religion."
Those present at the awards function
included Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Home Minister P. Chidambaram,
Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani and Minister of State for Home Ajay
Ram Puniyani and Dominic Emmanuel were
given the National Communal Harmony Awards in the individual
category while Setu Charitable Trust and Anjuman Sari-e-Gul Faroshan
got it under the organisations category. The Kabir Puraskar awardees
were Khalifa Gufran, Abdul Gani Abdullabhai Qureshi and Ghulam Ahmad
The National Communal Harmony Award
honours outstanding contribution of individuals and organisations to
the cause of communal harmony, promotion of secular values and
The Kabir Puraskar recognises physical
or moral courage and humanity exhibited by members of one community
in saving the life and property of members of another community.
The prime minister said, "We also know
that all societies, including ours, have to contend with such
preachers of disharmony and disagreement. That is why it is all the
more important to recognize and applaud those like today's
distinguished award winners."