Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday expressed concern over using caste and communal feelings for personal gain, 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 in New Delhi.
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.