Congress vice-president, Rahul Gandhi raised a number of issues and came down heavily on the Narendra Modi government at UC Berkeley in the US. He has addressed students of the prestigious University of California, Berkeley on ‘India at 70: Reflections on the Path Forward.’
The Congress VP offered his thoughts on contemporary India and the ways forward for the world’s largest democracy. From anti-Sikh riots to China threat, dynasty politics, Kashmir, and demonetization, he talked about all.
Here are key takeaways from Rahul’s speech at Berkley on ‘India at 70’
Rahul raised the 1984 anti-Sikh riots issue that happened after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He said he lost his father and grandmother to violence, “if I don’t understand violence then who will?” he asked. “I am with them in their quest for justice, violence again anybody I strongly condemn,” he said.
“India is a democratic country, unlike China, it has to create jobs in a democratic environment,” he said adding that India cannot follow Chinese model of massive factories ‘controlled by fear’. His remarks came aftermath of the Doklam standoff.
Rahul talked about the dynasty politics in the nation. “Most of the country runs like this, so don’t go after me, Akhilesh Yadav is a dynast, M K Stalin is a dynast, Dhumal’s son is a dynast’.” When asked about taking up an executive role in the party, he said he was absolutely ready, “but our party works according to organizational elections”.
Gandhi blamed PM Modi for the Kashmir terrorism. “He (Modi) massively opened up space for the terrorists in Kashmir, and you saw the increase in violence. PDP was instrumental in bringing youngsters in politics, but the day PM Modi made an alliance with PDP, he destroyed them(PDP).” Praising Congress leaders, he said, “When we started, terrorism was rampant in Kashmir, when we finished there was peace, we had broken the back of terrorism. For 9 years I worked behind the scenes with PM Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh and others on Jammu and Kashmir.”
He once again lashed out at PM Modi over demonetisation and job creation. “Decision like demonetisation was taken without asking Chief Economic Advisor and Parliament and it has caused tremendous damage. Small and medium entrepreneurs are the bedrock of India’s economic progress. No amount of growth is enough for India if it is not accompanied by the creation of jobs. Unlike China, India has to create jobs in a democratic environment,” said Gandhi.