Accusing the BJP and RSS of “imposing one idea” on a country that embraces diversity, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday insisted that the Opposition will stand as a united force and “fight and defeat” the ideologies of saffron organisations. Addressing reporters in Chennai, the Congress scion said each state had a “culture, (its) own thinking, own way of expression and food” and that such diversity was the country’s strength and not weakness.
Gandhi stated that for the BJP it was “weaknesses and these different ideas need to be crushed… BJP and RSS are under the impression that one idea can be placed on top of India.” He also said he wanted to tell the people of Tamil Nadu and India that “India is not one idea” and that the attitude of the BJP was conveyed by leaders at the DMK event on Saturday.
“India is thousands of different ideas and this one idea of the RSS will never ever crush the thousands of ideas… The central idea we are fighting is the idea of RSS,” Gandhi said after an interaction with Congress workers and leaders. “We are not going to allow one single idea of the RSS – the bankrupt idea, to invade this country and we are going to fight the RSS together,” he added.
Gandhi also claimed that the BJP believed only people who should be in power in India “are the people who believe in the RSS and anybody else be it Congress or others parties should not exist.”
Commenting on its ally DMK accusation that the Centre is “imposing” Hindi, the Congress leader said all languages needed to be respected.
Reflecting on the prevailing situation in Kashmir, Gandhi blamed the Centre for “mishandling” the situation in the Valley and said that Defence Minister Arun Jaitley brushed aside his concerns saying the region is peaceful. “Around six, seven months ago, Mr. Arun Jaitley came to see me and I told him that they are mishandling Kashmir and they are going to set Kashmir on fire. And Jaitley brushed me aside and said that Kashmir is peaceful,” Rahul told the media in Chennai.
The Congress leader also accused the Modi-led government of treating the Valley as a “political asset”. “They’re creating a problem for this country by their incompetence and by trying to utilize Kashmir as a political asset. Kashmir is India’s strength and they are making it India’s weakness,” he added.
With PTI inputs