Throwing his loudest attack on the BJP government in recent times, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said in Singapore that there is a general atmosphere of “intimidation” in India where a “nasty form of politics” of dividing people was being played to win elections.
While speaking at a panel discussion at the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the 47-year-old Congress leader said that there is a challenge to the institutional structure of India. “If you ask me what am I proud about my country…it is the idea of plurality. It’s the idea that people in India can say anything they want, do anything they want and they won’t face any problem and that is being challenged…,” Gandhi said. “There is a particular type of politics that’s not only happening in India but in a number of places – of dividing people, of using (their) anger to win elections and that’s what is happening in India,” the Congress president told the audience at the school, which is part of the National University of Singapore.
Remarking on the recent controversy of four senior Supreme Court judges holding a first-time press conference, Gandhi said, “They actually went out to the press and said listen we need the people to hear our voice because there is something fundamentally wrong.” The 47-year-old Congress leader said that there is a “very aggressive and organized attack on the system and judiciary. If you speak to the press, if you talk to business people, they will also tell you that we feel intimidated. So there is a general atmosphere of intimidation.” Rahul Gandhi added that the idea of India that Mahatma Gandhi wished-for was that an India where everybody is comfortable regardless of religion, community, regardless of state. “The idea that anybody coming to India, even the foreigner coming to India, feel comfortable in the country…that idea is being challenged now,” Gandhi stated.
“Where we are running into trouble now is the levels of violence and anger that you are seeing in India and this to me is a syndrome. I’m proud to say that our vision is bringing people together,” the Congress president added. While reverting to a question, the Congress president blamed the BJP and the RSS of indulging in anti-minority politics. “Mahatma Gandhi died protecting minorities. We, the Congress party, have been protecting minority people for the last 70 years. We don’t like an India where people are persecuted, where people are being beaten up for what they eat, what they say and what they wear,” the 47-year-old Congress leader said. Citing that “we will fight him and we will defeat him” in the election, Gandhi said, “very soon you will see India where everybody is respected and everybody is loved.”