Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said atrocities against minorities and Dalits were increasing in the country and such incidents, if unchecked, could harm democracy.
Delivering the first SB Rangnekar Memorial lecture at the Panjab University, his alma mater, in Chandigarh, Dr Singh also said a 'dangerous and false binary' of choosing between freedom and development was surfacing in the country's political discourse and that it must be rejected.
He expressed concern over the alleged attempts being made to divide people.
'I need not dwell long on the current deep concern that attempts are being made to divide the Indian people on the basis of religion and caste, language and culture. Atrocities against minorities and Dalits are increasing. If unchecked, these tendencies can only harm our democracy. As a people, we must strongly reject divisive policies and politics,' he said.
The former prime minister asserted that freedom of a country did not just mean the freedom of its government. 'It is the freedom of people, which, in turn is not the freedom only of its privileged and powerful, but the freedom of every Indian.'