Isn’t your idea ‘destructive’? Officer counters Rahul Gandhi’s ‘India not a nation’ theory at Cambridge event — WATCH

Addressing Rahul Gandhi directly, Siddhartha Verma asked if the senior Congress leader’s idea of India was not only “flawed” but also “destructive” as it seemed to “whitewash a history which was thousands of years old”.

Addressing Rahul Gandhi directly, Siddhartha Verma asked if the senior Congress leader's idea of India was not only "flawed" but also "destructive" as it seemed to "whitewash a history which was thousands of years old".

Challenging senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s “India is not a nation” concept at the University of Cambridge in London on Monday, civil servant Siddhartha Verma, who was also present in the same room as Gandhi, countered the idea and asserted that India is indeed a nation as stated in the Preamble of the Constitution. Addressing Gandhi directly, Verma asked if the senior Congress leader’s idea of India was not only “flawed” but also “destructive” as it seemed to “whitewash a history which was thousands of years old”.

Verma, an Indian Railway Traffic Service officer and a Commonwealth Scholar in Public Policy at Cambridge University, took to his Twitter handle to post an excerpt of his interaction with Gandhi with an accompanying text, “Yesterday, in Cambridge, I questioned Mr. Rahul Gandhi on his statement that ‘India is not a nation but a Union of States’.  He asserted that India is not a nation but the result of negotiation between states.” Verma said he will share Gandhi’s full response once the same is uploaded by the organisers.

While speaking at an interactive session with students at Cambridge, Gandhi claimed that there is nothing Hindu about Hindu nationalism. He further alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of India is not inclusive in nature as it leaves out many.

“I have a problem if anybody has a vision for India that excludes people, I don’t care who’s being excluded. I have a problem with it because it is completely unfair, it ignores that there is tremendous energy in the people being excluded and I have a problem with it because that’s not what India is,” Gandhi was quoted as saying to students by news agency PTI.

“I think it goes beyond secularism. You have to include every single person with compassion. Mr Modi is constructing a vision of India where he’s leaving out huge chunks of our population. And, that’s not a vision of India, that’s a vision of a part of India,” he said.

When asked about his way forward to combat “Hindu nationalism” in the country, Gandhi was quoted by PTI as saying, “There is nothing Hindu about it and actually there’s nothing nationalist about it. I think you’ll have to think of a new name for them but they’re certainly not Hindu. And, I have studied Hinduism in enough detail to tell you that there’s absolutely nothing Hindu about wanting to murder people and beat people up”.

“My problem with the RSS and the Prime Minister is that they are fiddling with the foundational structure of India. When you play the politics of polarisation, when you isolate and demonise 200 million people, you’re doing something extremely dangerous and you’re doing something that is fundamentally against the idea of India,” he said. “I’m sure there are good things the Prime Minister has done, but for me attacking the idea of India is unacceptable,” he further added.  

Taking an apparent dig at Gandhi, Union Minority Affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Monday alleged that instead of fighting a harmful ideology as claimed by the Congress leaders, the party is fighting the “harmful idiocy” of its own leaders. “Sometimes they compare India with Pakistan, Sri Lanka or any other country, sometimes they raise fake and fabricated bogey of fear and hatred in the country only to defame India and tarnish its strength of harmony and tolerance,” Naqvi said while pointing out that Congress doesn’t even stop from defaming India in foreign land.

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