India is not a landmass within its political boundaries but an emotion, Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi in Malappuram said on Wednesday. “What is India? That is the political question being asked today. If you read people like Savarkar, they define India in terms of geography. They take a pen, draw a map and say this is India; outside that line, it is not India (for them). For me, India is the people who live here,” he said after inaugurating a dialysis centre at Kalikavu near Wandoor.
“For RSS, India is just limited to the map. But for Congress, India and its people are an emotion,” he said at another event at Pulparambil here. “When one goes out to work and they treat others with respect there, they uphold Indian values. We see India among the thousands of Keralite nurses abroad who treat patients with respect,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of breaking the relationships and “bridges” between the people and claimed that this was leading to the “shattering” of the idea of India.
Gandhi, in Kerala for a day, also alleged that it was “arrogance” on the part of the Prime Minister to claim that only he knows or understands India and no one else, especially when he was making the claims without finding out about the culture, language, way of life and problems of the people of the various states and religions.
Without explaining where he got these ideas about Prime Minister Modi, Gandhi went on and on. “My problem with the prime minister is that he is breaking these relationships. If he is breaking the relationships between the people of India, he is shattering the idea of India. That is why I oppose him,” he said.
“When he (Prime Minister Modi) breaks the relationships between Indians, it is my duty, my job, my commitment to repair the bridges between the people. Every time he uses hatred to break bridges, it is my duty to repair them with love and compassion,” Gandhi said.
The INC MP from the Muslim-majority constituency said that he could not build bridges without understanding the different traditions, ideas, religions and cultures in the country and for that one needed to visit the various states and religious places in the country with humility and the willingness to understand.
“If I go to these places with arrogance, I am a fool. How can I go to people of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, who have a history of thousands of years, and claim to know them? I have to go there with humility. Otherwise, how can I define what India is?”
“Imagine the arrogance of that person who claims, ‘I know what India is. I know what the people of Kerala need. I know what people of Tamil Nadu need.’ Imagine the arrogance of such a person who claims that only he knows what India is and what the people of India need. This is another problem that I have with Prime Minister Modi. He is convinced nobody understands this land as he does,” the former INC president said.
“Therefore,” Gandhi said, “the fight here is between humility and arrogance, between temper and compassion, between self-interest and welfare of others.”
Autorickshaw drivers of Wandoor had a VIP joining their tea session yesterday. The Wayanad MP had a chat over tea with them at Aathas restaurant in Wandoor. The MP was returning after inaugurating the dialysis facility at Hima dialysis at Kalikavu at noon.
The autorickshaw drivers said that the Gandhi scion inquired about their lives and job. He had also had a chat with a restaurant owner, KFC Zubair. Opposition leader VD Satheeshan, AICC general secretary KC Venugopal, AP Anilkumar, MLA, and district panchayat member KT Ajmal were with Gandhi.