The Congress, like-minded parties and the people will not let the RSS or Prime Minister Narendra Modi “impose one idea” on the country, AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi said today. “We will never allow silencing of more than a billion India voices… We are not going to stand and watch while they peddle their ridiculous ideas,” he said.
“All of us on the stage, people in the crowd, and all those watching will not let the RSS or Narendra Modi impose one idea on this country,” Gandhi said. Paying rich encomiums to Karunanidhi on his 94th birthday celebrations and diamond jubilee of his legislative career here, he said the nonagenarian leader was loved by millions of people in Tamil Nadu.
Gandhi, referring to Karunanidhi’s letters to his party workers in party mouthpiece Murasoli and pointing to other leaders on the dais, said they listened to the voice of people. Karunanidhi “did not write about fantasies,” the Congress leader said, adding he reflected the people’s aspirations and underscored the importance of Tamil to the whole of India, not just Tamil Nadu. Asserting that every single leader including Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and Omar Abdullah valued Tamil language, he said, “We understand Tamil language and culture, it makes India stronger.”
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He said none of them had the arrogance “to tell you how to live and what is good for you.” In an apparent reference to Hindutva, he said, “There is an ideology in India, we all fought and we always fight that beliefs that they have all answers for everybody in India.”
Referring to the Modi regime, he said they do not speak or listen to anybody and feel that they have all the answers. “They do not believe in discussion or conversation crushing opposition to them,” he said. Referring to the demonetisation move of the Centre, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided one day that “1.3 billion people are to be told that money in their pockets is worthless.”
He said, “Modi does not ask anybody or go to anybody and unilaterally decides.”
Gandhi said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently said economic decline had nothing to do with the demonetisation.
“The entire world is saying that the demonetisation has wrecked Indian economy. What Jaitley is not telling you is that Modi did not even asked him about demonetisation that is the way Government of India is being run.”
He flayed the BJP-led Centre saying they “believe” that there is “only one idea, along which India should be run.”
He said saffron party believed that there was only one culture which should run India.
“We completely disagree with them. Every single Indian voice regardless of who it belongs to have the right to run this country and be part of this country’s future,” he said.
Thanking DMK working president Stalin for organising the meeting, he said he had a difficult job to do since he had to fill the shoes of a “very great man” (referring to Karunanidhi).
“I am happy to say that he (Stalin) is walking in the right direction and I am confident that one day we will speak about Stalin the same way we are speaking about his father,” Gandhi said.
On Karunanidhi, he said the nonagenarian loving the people who reciprocated it was the reason for him remaining undefeated in assembly polls for six decades and it was also the reason for him becoming chief minister five times.
“When he speaks, it is not only Karunanidhi who is speaking, it is the voice of the people of Tamil Nadu, it is your voice, when he is in the assembly, you feel he is expressing your feelings.”
He said similarly all others like NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee echo the voice of the people of their respective states.
“The idea of India is that all such voices can come out together and they make India stronger despite differences,” Gandhi said.
He said every leader on the dais were absolutely convinced that wisdom and knowledge lay with the people.