India didn't get freedom only to be colonised by RSS ideology: Rahul Gandhi

Congress MP says BJP and PM Narendra Modi see only one nation, one language and one leader, a fundamental misunderstanding of India

Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad (photo: @INCIndia/X)
Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad (photo: @INCIndia/X)


Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday launched the second phase of his Lok Sabha election campaign in his home constituency of Wayanad in Kerala by attacking the ruling BJP and its ideological mentor RSS, saying India did not earn freedom from the British only to be colonised by the ideology of the Sangh Parivar.

Addressing party workers and voters in his constituency, the Wayanad MP also exuded confidence that the grand old party would come back to power both in the state and at the Centre.

He said the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi see only one nation, one language and one leader, and this is a fundamental misunderstanding of our country. India is like a bouquet of flowers and each one has to be respected because it promotes the beauty of the entire bouquet, he said. "This idea that India should have only one leader is an insult to every single young Indian," he added.

Citing the example of language, he said it is not something that can be imposed, and that it comes from inside a person's heart. "To tell a person from Kerala that your language is inferior to Hindi, for example, is an insult to the people of Kerala. It is like saying what is coming out of your heart is inferior to what is coming out of the heart of a person from Uttar Pradesh," he said.

Gandhi said it was like looking at a bouquet of flowers and telling the red rose that we don't like you being red and we want you to be white. "It is like telling a bouquet of flowers that we want every flower to be white," Gandhi said.

Stating that Malayalam is not just a language but a link to a civilisation, he said when a child is taught Malayalam, it is not only about the language. "He is being taught the history of Kerala, the culture of Kerala, the affection and respect... that's what he is being taught," he said, adding that it is the same for history, culture and religion.

Gandhi also questioned the alleged "one leader" idea of the saffron party and asked why India could not have more leaders. "Why can a young boy or a girl not be a leader? Why can't our brother who rides an autorickshaw be a leader? Why can't our policemen be a leader? Why just one leader? Why can't we have more leaders?" he asked.

Gandhi also claimed that this line of thought was the main difference between the Congress and the BJP. The MP said the Congress wants to listen to the people of the country and love and respect their beliefs, language, religion, and culture. But the BJP wants to impose something from the top, he alleged.

"We did not get freedom from the British to be colonised by the ideology of the RSS. We want India to be ruled by all her people," he said.

This was Gandhi's second visit to Wayanad, from where he is seeking a second win, since the election dates were announced. Earlier in the day, he held a massive roadshow in town, sitting atop an open-roofed car. Hundreds of workers rallied beside him holding placards with his photo.

Listing out various local issues being faced by the people of Wayanad, Gandhi said human-animal conflict and the night travel ban are perplexing problems here, and the Congress was committed to resolving them.

"I have written multiple times about these issues to our chief minister and the Central government. And we will continue to put pressure on them. It is a complicated issue but we are going to resolve this issue with you," he said.

He also specially mentioned the Nilambur railway issue and said it would be easily resolved when the Congress comes to power in Delhi. "The reality is because we are not in power in Delhi or Kerala, both governments are giving step-motherly treatment to Wayanad. And we are going to come to power at the Centre and in the state... this issue will be resolved," Gandhi added.

The Congress leader kicked off his campaign in Wayanad early this month by filing his nomination papers and holding another road show. He won the Wayanad seat by a record margin of over 4.31 lakh votes during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Polling in Kerala's 20 Lok Sabha seats will be held on 26 April. The results will be out on 4 June.

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Published: 15 Apr 2024, 5:47 PM