True religion can’t be the basis of hatred, says Manmohan Singh

True religion can’t be the basis of hatred and division, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Sunday, urging every citizen to imbibe lessons from Swami Vivekananda and learn to be tolerant.

‘Let us, in all humility, imbibe lessons from Swami Vivekananda. Let us learn to be tolerant of one another, have respect for all religions and dedicate ourselves to the development of our people and our country,’ the prime minister said at the closing ceremony of the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda at Vigyan Bhavan here.

‘There is no use celebrating Swamiji’s life, paying our respects to his ideas and teachings and honouring his memory if we do not also imbibe the values that he advocated.’

‘His true message for us was that true religion and true religiosity can’t be the basis of hatred and division, but of mutual respect and tolerance for the faiths and beliefs of all,’ he said. The prime minister said he sincerely believed that the ‘best tribute’ to Swami Vivekananda ‘would be to recognise the relevance of his teachings and his thoughts to the 21st century, for on Sunday’s India and on Monday’s India’.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, defence minister AK Antony and culture minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch also paid tributes to Swami Vivekananda.

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