Amid a renewed debate on intolerance in the wake of the attacks on Dalits and the activities of cow vigilantes, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi Monday said “freedom can never be for the few” and argued that Indians are aspiring for a country where “ideas flow freely and are not crushed violently by the forces of hate and mediocrity.”
Rahul unfurled the national flag at the AICC headquarters for the first time after becoming the party vice-president in 2013. He hoisted the Tricolour in the absence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who is recovering after a bout of fever. She was discharged from the hospital Sunday after spending nearly two weeks there.
In his Independence Day message, Congress vice-president said Indians were not just celebrating freedom from the British rule, but “commitment to freedom from inequality and prejudice, freedom to choose our own destiny and create a society where everyone has equal opportunities for success.”
“These are freedoms we must not take for granted, freedoms that we Indians, particularly young, are duty bound to defend. Our precious liberty is a living, breathing force — not a static idea — and as such it must continuously be maintained and lovingly defended by all of us Indians,” he said.
The Congress has been accusing sections of the ruling establishment of creating an atmosphere of fear, intolerance and intimidation in the country. On Monday, Rahul said: “When the forces of darkness threaten this liberty for some of us, as we saw in recent times, we must remember that freedom can never be for the few — it has to be for everyone. Every human being in India has the right to dignity and the freedom to live and express themselves freely.”