Reacting to the criticism of India by the foreign institutions over freedom and democracy, Rahul said that the situation in India is much worse than they have imagined.
Rahul Gandhi said that Mahatma Gandhi gave up power to give us the constitution.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi indirectly hit out at the BJP during his interaction with Professor Ashutosh Varshney of the Brown University in the US. Rahul has been attacking the BJP-RSS for destroying the institutional framework in the country. During his interaction with Varshney yesterday, Rahul said that one cannot separate electoral democracy from institutional frameworks. “You cannot separate electoral democracy from institutional frameworks. An election is not simply people going and pressing a button on a voting machine. An election is about narrative, an election is about institutions that make sure that the framework in the country is operating properly, an election is about a judiciary that is being fair, an election is about a debate that is taking place in Parliament. You need those things for the votes to count. Saddam Hussain and Gaddafi used to have elections. They used to win. They (citizens) were actually voting but there was no institutional framework to protect that vote,” said Rahul Gandhi.
Reacting to the criticism of India by the foreign institutions over freedom and democracy, Rahul said that the situation in India is much worse than they have imagined. Asked whether he would step aside and allow others to become leaders in the party, the Congress leader said that he was protecting a certain ideology in the Congress party and would not step aside just because someone else does not like it. “I believe in certain ideas and I defend those ideas and I don’t really care what my name is, doesn’t make any difference. I have a role to play in the Congress party and that is to defend a particular ideological current,” said Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul said that Mahatma Gandhi gave up power to give us the constitution. “If you take a blunt view of power you can say Gandhi gave up power but if you take a sophisticated view, Gandhi gave up power to give us the constitution. Power is the ability to influence,” said Rahul. He added, “It was through Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress Party that came to the idea of transfer of power to the people of India- through the Vote, Parliament, Constitution and institutions that will protect the voice of people of India.”
Rahul claimed that the RSS has captured India’s institutions. “It is very obvious to me that the institutions allowed a negotiation between our identities, cultures, languages. What I see is a determined attack on those institutions and a capture of those institutions,” he said. “If you destroy the architecture of negotiation, you don’t have a country. If you attack that, the blowback will be unstoppable.”
Reacting to internal migration and job problems, he said that India is facing a catastrophic problem today. “We are facing a catastrophic job problem. If India cannot solve its job problem then India cannot have a global position or take on the challenges coming from the Chinese…..Hundreds of millions of people come from villages to cities. We need to give them something to do, we need to give them a vision. Be it by transforming agriculture or manufacturing or improving competitiveness in services,” he said.
Gandhi also alleged that there’s no internal democracy in the BJP. “BJP MPs tell me they can’t have an open discussion in Parliament. They are told what to say, it’s a straightforward top-down thing. It’s the same with the judiciary, press. It’s a constant onslaught,” he claimed.
On the farmers’ protest issue, Gandhi said that the agri reforms should be done in consultation with the farmers. “We agree that a reform of the agricultural system is required. We also feel that any reform of the agricultural system has to come out of a conversation with the stakeholders of that system like farmers etc,” said Rahul.
He claimed that the farm bills in their present form are going to be extremely destructive. “I feel, BJP will not have the power to push the farm bills through and if they do, we are going to head into some serious social turbulence,” he said.
Rahul also attacked the saffron party over the use of money power in elections. He said that the amount of money the BJP is throwing at elections is 10 times more compared to what Congress or other political parties spend. He claimed that there is a total domination by the BJP in elections in addition to the domination of institutions.