In a veiled attack on BJP, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today warned against its "divisive ideology full of hatred" and vowed to protect tolerance and compassion that are the essence of India.
In a speech to business leaders at a FICCI event, he said without naming BJP that it was a party built on "divisive ideology full of hatred, arrogance and misguided notions of superiority" and juxtaposed Congress' mission as "anchored in an ancient Indian idea Ņ an idea where humanity is united in love, compassion and harmony".
He pitched Congress as the champion of the idea of India which is "living in harmony, not in hatred, thriving in peace not suffocating in conflict".
"Around the time Mahatma Gandhi was making his address to FICCI in 1931, the dark shadows of fascism had begun to spread over Europe... Millions of people were killed and communities impoverished. Businesses were destroyed.
"What our people understood intuitively, but the Europeans of the 1930s did not, was that wealth cannot be constructed on poverty. Peace cannot be constructed on conflict. Societies cannot be built on injustice and hatred," Gandhi said.
Congress' vision of India, the party Vice President said, is of a country whose economy would be the largest in the world, second to none. "Our vision is also of an India which would have deepened its democracy to the grassroots and have power devolved to lowest levels".
"But above all our vision is of an India united by compassion, not power; living in harmony, not in hatred; thriving in peace rather than suffocating in conflict; filled with humility, not with hubris," he said.
Reeling under the drubbing in recent assembly polls in four states, Gandhi said the people's message needs to be accepted with foresight and humility without any resort to the "usual props of statistical data and excuse-making".
He said Congress has the ability to "rise from adversity" by "listening to voices we represent".