‘Di­vi­sive pol­i­tics’ dam­ag­ing In­dia’s name

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CONGRESS vice-pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s gov­ern­ment, say­ing that “di­vi­sive pol­i­tics” was ru­in­ing In­dia’s rep­u­ta­tion for peace and har­mony.

Speak­ing at an event or­gan­ised by the In­dian Na­tional Over­seas Congress, Gandhi said In­dia had many re­li­gions and dif­fer­ent lan­guages and peo­ple had been able to live happily to­gether be­cause of the ideas of the Congress.

He said the big­gest thing that peo­ple asked him dur­ing his visit to the US was: “What hap­pened to the tol­er­ance that pre­vailed in In­dia? What hap­pened to the har­mony?”

He said: “For thou­sands of years, In­dia has had a rep­u­ta­tion of peace and har­mony. This is be­ing chal­lenged. There are forces that are di­vid­ing the coun­try. It is very dan­ger­ous. Di­vi­sive pol­i­tics is go­ing on and it has to be fought.”

He said In­dia’s rep­u­ta­tion in the world was im­por­tant and that peo­ple were look­ing to them.

“Many coun­tries in a vi­o­lent world are look­ing to­wards In­dia and say­ing maybe In­dia has the an­swer for the 21st cen­tury, maybe In­dia has the an­swer for peace­ful co­ex­is­tence. So we can­not af­ford to lose our most pow­er­ful as­set. Our most pow­er­ful as­set is that 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple lived happily, non-vi­o­lently, peace­fully. This is some­thing that as Congress peo­ple, ev­ery sin­gle one of us has to de­fend.”

He said the free­dom fight­ers and peo­ple who sought to trans­form In­dia had stood for the truth.

“It does not mat­ter what is stand­ing against them. When they be­lieve in some­thing and are con­vinced that it is truth, they stand up for it. That is the Congress idea.”

Gandhi termed the Non-Res­i­dent In­di­ans (NRI) “the back­bone of the coun­try” and said he was keen to in­volve them in the work of the party to dis­cuss its vi­sion for­ward. – IANS

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