Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is all set to begin his two-week US visit on Monday. The trip is already mired in controversy over the fact that it was initially reported he will go there to familiarise himself with the basics of Artificial Intelligence developments there only to be criticised for it. Then it emerged that it was not true – this was confirmed by technocrat Sam Pitroda. Now Press Trust of India reports that Gandhi will interact with global thinkers, political leaders and overseas Indians during his visit. Gandhi’s visit will focus on international economic and technology issues, an organiser of his visit was reported as saying. The visit could possibly be the first time in his political career that Gandhi would hold public meetings, meet political leaders and deliver speeches in the country. Gandhi will begin nearly two-week long trip with an address at the University of California, Berkeley, on Monday, with the event focussed on contemporary India and the path forward for the world’s largest democracy. Rahul follows in his great grandfather and India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s footsteps, who had delivered a speech at Berkeley in 1949.
“The purpose of the visit is two-fold. One is to meet interesting and global thinkers, to have a conversation on what is happening world over on economy, on technology, on opportunities, and really understand different views from experts on the global scene,” Sam Pitroda, who is involved with the preparations of Gandhi’s visit, was quoted as saying by PTI. Pitroda said that Gandhi will meet overseas Indians at an event in New York as part of an outreach by the Congress party. Gandhi is also scheduled to visit Washington DC.
The Congress vice president is also likely to address members of the think-tank community at an event organised by the Centre for American Progress. The visit will also include an interaction with the corporate world at another programme organised by the US-India Business Council. The Congress deputy chief may also meet some members of the ruling Republican Party.
“Today, the view of India is one short of protected by one group of people. We need to really talk about Indian aspirations, Indian concerns about what is going on not just in India but the world over. Rise of populism is one topic I am sure will come up in the conversation,” Pitroda said.