LONDON: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party government for carrying out a systematic attack on the institutions that allow conversations to take place.
Addressing the ‘Ideas for India’ conclave in London, Rahul Gandhi said, “What is happening today is that there is a systematic attack on the institutions that allow conversations to take place. There is an attack on the Constitution of India. The result of this attack is that the states of India are longer able to negotiate with the government.” Highlighting that democracy in India is a global public good, he said, “It is a central anchor for the planet. Because, we are the only people who have managed democracy at the scale that nobody has. If that cracks, it is going to cause a problem for the planet.”
“We believe India is a negotiation between its people. The BJP and the RSS believe India is a ‘Sone Ki Chidiya’ whose benefits should be distributed to a few. We believe everyone should have equal access,” he said.
When asked if India should return to multi-alignment as far as Indian diplomacy is concerned, the Congress leader said, “Pragmatically navigate the waters you are in. Look at the situation, take into account your country and requirements, the idea of prosperity and conversations. Use those fundamentals to navigate.”
“From the struggle that we are witnessing, we will get an India that is much better than the one we have right now and one we had even before. I think something beautiful is coming. I fundamentally believe in the spirit of our country,” the Congress leader said.
Lauding the efforts of the Congress party in India, Gandhi said, “The Congress is fighting polarisation. We are holding a position that brings people together. The Congress and other Opposition parties in India are doing that.”
This is the first such overseas event for the Congress leader after the return of normalcy in international travel which had been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gandhi’s visit abroad has taken place at a time when the Congress is battling dissensions. A senior leader in both Gujarat and Punjab has left the party.
BJP govt promoting private sector monopoly,
controlling the media in country: Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party government for promoting a private-sector monopoly in the country and through this concentration of capital, also controlling the media.
“I think it’s very dangerous for one company to control all airports, all ports, all the infrastructure. It (private sector monopoly) has never existed in this form. It has never existed with such a massive concentration of power and capital. This is another aspect that is throttling the conversation because the current Indian government is controlling the media through this concentration of capital,” Gandhi said at an event in London. Accusing Bharatiya Janata Party of “spreading kerosene all over the country”, the former INC party president said, “You need one spark and we will be in big trouble. I think we need to act responsibly as the opposition, the Congress in the country that aims to bring people, communities, states, and religions together in harmony.”
“We need to cool this temperature down because if it doesn’t cool down, things can go wrong,” the Congress leader said at the event which was organised by non-profit think-tank Bridge India.
He further said that there are two different designs of governance at play in India, one that stifles voices and the other that listens.
“Please realise, what the BJP does is shout and stifle voices. What we do is listen. They are two different things, they are two different designs. A cadre is told you will say this and nothing else, it’s designed to push a particular set of ideas down people’s throats, whether it is the Communist idea or in the RSS system. We are not designed like that. We are designed to listen to the people of India and pull out their voice and place it on the table,” said Gandhi, attacking the BJP.
The Congress leader further said that Prime Minister must have an attitude that ‘I want to listen’, but “our Prime Minister doesn’t listen”.
Lauding the Congress party’s efforts in India, Rahul Gandhi said, “The Congress, through its actions, has been attacking the social systems (like the caste system) in the country. We fundamentally believe every single Indian should be given the same opportunities.”
“Trying to force the same idea that we were running in the 1990’s and 2000’s is not going to work now. That is what the government is doing today. The task for the Opposition is really to give a new vision to the people of India, an economic vision. Congress has the ideology at the national level. Congress is a structure that is enabling the Opposition. The ideological battle that is taking place is between the national vision of the RSS and the national vision of Congress,” he said.
The Congress leader said, “This is no longer just a pure political fight. We are now fighting the institutional structure of the Indian state which is being captured by an organisation. The only way for us is to go to the large masses of the Indian people.”
Further accusing the BJP government in India for stifling the voices in the country, Gandhi said, “People tell us we should have a cadre like the BJP. And I tell them that the day we have a cadre like the BJP, we will be the BJP. We are a party that listens to the expression of the Indian people. BJP stifles voices, we listen.” (ANI)