New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi
today expressed concern over using caste and communal feelings
for personal gains, saying there can be no compromise with
people who do such things.
"There are still some people, who use the poison of
communalism and casteism for their personal interest. How can
we compromise with such people? We have always fought against
such people and will continue to do so," Gandhi said at the
Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award ceremony here.
Noted spiritual scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan was
felicitated with the award for the year 2009, which carries a
citation and a cheque of Rs 5 lakh.
Gandhi said that respect for all religions and socialism
is a culture and tradition and those who have been brought up
under this culture always stand by it.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while lauding Khan`s
efforts in spreading communal amity, said, "A country like
India in which people of different beliefs and languages live
and where there are diverse religions and cultures, needs
people like Maulana Sahab...people, who can unite the society
and the country and put an end to separatism and differences."
Khan said the opportunities which Muslims get in India
are not available to them in any of the 57 Muslim countries.
He said the world today needs India`s spiritualism and
his mission is to make the country the "spiritual super power"
of the world.
Khan said that the God has given a demonstration to the
world in the shape of a cow to teach the people how to live.
"Cow eats grass and gives milk. It is a divine animal, which
converts grass into milk," he said.
He is 21th person to get this award since it was
constituted in the memory of late Rajiv Gandhi in 1992 on the
occasion of the golden jubilee of 1942 Quit India movement.
The Prime Minister said, "Maulana Sahab has not only put
forward the true message of peace and tolerance of Islam but
also encouraged dialogue among various religions."
Chairman of the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award
Advisory Committee Karan Singh recalled the initiatives taken
by late Rajiv Gandhi for reservation of women in panchayats
and said it will prove revolutionary in future.
Khan has penned over 200 books on Islam and other
religious issues. Prominent among them is `Ilme Jadid Ka
Challenge`, `The Prophet of Peace`, "The Teachings of Prophet
Muhammed` and `Jihad, Peace and Inter-Community Relations`.
In 1992, following the demolition of the Babri Masjid, he
had gone on a 15-day Shanti Yatra to restore peace and amity
between the two communities, a contribution which the Prime
Minister also mentioned in his speech.