Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday asserted that the he would do everything in power to help Sikhs get justice in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, adding that he lost his father and grandmother (former prime ministers Rajeev Gandhi and Indira Gandhi, respectively) to violence. “Violence can never be justified. I will do everything in my power to help the Sikhs get justice. I lost my father, my grandmother to violence, if I don’t understand violence then who will?” Rahul said, while addressing the gathering at the University of California in Berkeley on ‘India 70: Reflections on the Path Forward’ Rahul said that the idea of non-violence or ‘ahimsa’ is what has allowed the people of the country to rise together.
He said that there is no democratic country in history, which has raised so many people out of poverty as India. “It is a place where an individual doesn’t have an idea, instead, an idea has an individual. At one point of time, many felt that India was destined to fail, but India moved ahead, strong,” he said. “As late Indira Gandhi was asked whether India will switch ‘Left or Right’. She said it will stand straight and tall,” he added. Rahul said that India is currently trying to connect with 1.3 billion people into the global economy with minimum disruption possible in a peaceful way and if this process breaks down, the potential for violence would be massive.
The Congress vice-president added that hatred, anger and violence can destroy the people of India, and that the politics of polarisation is very dangerous, which has raised its ugly head in India today. “Violence and hatred distract people from the task in hand. A liberal journalist being shot, people being shot because they are Dalits, Muslims killed on suspicion of eating beef – this is new in India and damages India badly,” he said.