Singapore: Launching an attack on the BJP, Congress President Rahul Gandhi today said there is a general atmosphere of “intimidation” in India where there is politics of dividing people and using their anger to win elections.
Speaking at a panel discussion at the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, Gandhi also said that there is a challenge to the institutional structure of India.
“There is a particular type of politics that’s not only happening in India but in a number of places – of dividing people, of using (their) anger to win elections and that’s what is happening in India,” he said.
“If you ask me what am I proud of my country…It is the idea of plurality. It’s the idea that people in India can say anything they want, do anything they want and they won’t face any problem and that is being challenged…,” he said.
Commenting on the recent controversy of four senior Supreme Court judges holding an unprecedented press conference, Gandhi said, “they actually went out to the press and said listen we need the people to hear our voice because there is something fundamentally wrong.”
“I don’t know if you know the details about the comments they (judges) were making but the centre of the issue is the case of (BJP president) Amit Shah. So, there is a challenge to the institutional structure of our country,” he said, apparently referring to the issue of alleged mysterious death of special CBI judge BH Loya, who was hearing the sensitive Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.
Shah was discharged as an accused in the case.
He alleged that there is a “very very aggressive and organised attack on the system and on the judiciary. If you speak to the press, if you talk to business people, they will also tell you that we feel intimidated. so there is a general atmosphere of intimidation.”
The Congress president said that the idea of India that Mahatma Gandhi envisioned was that an India where everybody is comfortable regardless of religion, community, regardless of State.
“The idea that anybody coming to India, even the foreigner coming to India, feel comfortable in the country and that idea is being challenged now,” he asserted.
“Where we are running into trouble now is the levels of violence and anger that you are seeing in India and this to me is a syndrome,” he said, adding that “I’m proud to say that our vision is bringing people together.”
Responding to a question from the audience, Gandhi accused the BJP and the RSS of indulging in anti-minorities politics.
“Mahatma Gandhi died protecting minorities. We, the Congress party, have been protecting minority people for the last 70 years. We don’t like India where people are persecuted, where people are being beaten up for what they eat, what they say and what they wear,” he said.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi controls the lawmaking, he controls the UP police, he controls the Haryana police, he controls these things. An extremely nasty form of politics is playing out in India,” Gandhi said, without elaborating.
He asserted that “we will fight him and we will beat him” in the election.