Former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh said India's situation is "very grim and morose", warning that "wilfully stoked communal tensions, gross economic mismanagement and an external health shock are threatening to derail India’s progress and standing".
In a strongly-worded op-ed published in The Hindu on Friday, Singh maintained that currently India was facing threats from "the trinity of social disharmony, economic slowdown and a global health epidemic".
Commenting on the deadly communal violence that swept through the Indian capital recently, the former prime minister said: "With no checks, the fire of social tensions is rapidly spreading across the nation and threatens to char the soul of our nation. It can only be extinguished by the same people that lit it."
"Just in a matter of few years, India has slid rapidly from being a global showcase of a model of economic development through liberal democratic methods to a strife ridden majoritarian state in economic despair," he wrote.
Singh called on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to convince the nation not just through his words, but also through his actions.
"Every act of sectarian violence is a blemish on Mahatma Gandhi’s India," wrote Singh, who remained prime minister of India from 2004 to 2014 until he was replaced by Modi at the helm.
"Modi must convince the nation [...] that he is cognisant of the dangers we face and reassure the nation that he can help us tide over this as smoothly as we can."
"The India that we know and cherish is slipping away fast. It is time to confront the harsh reality of the grave risks we face as a nation and address them squarely and sufficiently," he wrote.