Startups and intolerance can’t go together: Rahul Gandhi

The Congress Vice President lashed out at BJP and RSS and accused them of having a 'rigid' vision for India.

By: PTI | Mumbai | Updated: January 16, 2016 1:19 pm
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi addressing a public meeting during his Sadbhabana Yatra in Barpeta district on Saturday. (PTI Photo) Rahul Gandhi addressed students of NMIMS in Mumbai on Saturday. (PTI Photo)

As the Centre’s ambitious start-up mission got underway, Rahul Gandhi on Saturday trained his guns on the Narendra Modi government, saying there is a contradiction in pushing for start-ups and being “intolerant”.

The Congress Vice President also said that the RSS has a very “rigid vision” for India and that start ups require free movement of ideas.

“The ruling dispensation, particularly the RSS, has a clear idea on what the world should look like. They have a vision for India which in my opinion is a very rigid vision. This country requires flexibility, openness and movement of ideas,” Gandhi said, during an interaction with management students in suburban Vile Parle here.

“There’s a huge contradiction in saying I want start ups but I will be intolerant,” the Congress leader said.

“You will fail on the economy and start up front if you are intolerant,” he said.

“Start ups require free movement of ideas. If I say you are a woman and your place is in the kitchen, I am curbing
your freedom,” he said. He also charged that the BJP categorises people.

Also Read | Rahul Gandhi on GST Bill: Jaitley never spoke to me about it, only invited me for daughter’s wedding

“The BJP has categories: There’s a Hindu for them, a Muslim for them, a woman for them. I don’t categorise. That’s the difference between us and them,” he said. Rahul asked students not to put labels on people, things and industries.

“Saying this is a Hindu, this is a Muslim, this is a woman…hides values,” he said, adding, “When Steve Jobs was asked what was the most important class you took, he said: Japanese calligraphy”.

Asked how could India help provide conducive atmosphere for start ups, Gandhi said, “Start ups require a whole set of eco systems that allows entrepreneurs to grow including infrastructure and regulation. The biggest problem is red tape.”

“Today, if you are a Rs 10000 crore company, you can’t easily get finance. If you are a big business, you can get around regulations and put pressure on politicians,” he said.

To a query on India’s development compared to that of China, Gandhi said, “It’s pretty clear that China today is more powerful and economically stronger.”

“China’s power is centralised. China grabs you and you can see the power it has. India is decentralised. It grabs you and you don’t see India’s power,” he said.

“India’s power has never been military. It has come from the strength of ideas,” the Congress leader said. “China has paid a huge price for what they have achieved. Millions of people paid for that with their lives. In India we didn’t kill millions of people,” he said.

To a query on why Indian institutions figure in the list of top 200 global varsities, Gandhi said, “Our education institutions are no less than US education institutes.”

Rahul apologised to students for the “sometimes high handed way” the security personnel at the event dealt with them.

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  1. S
    Jan 16, 2016 at 9:23 am
    Mr. hi is contradicting himself with the examples he provides. He quotes China as an achiever in development , but China seems to have achieved this with greater intolerance (e.g. suppression of minorites in Xinjiang, Tibet, land acquisition, potion displacement for development, labour laws, exit policy ) than India. Then how come China became a startup champion before us ? When he says that “Our education insutions are no less than US education insutes.” , it reflects that he has not completed higher education .Now, if such a person becomes a PM of India ...
    1. A
      Jan 17, 2016 at 2:20 pm
      RAGA also made a goof up by saying "Steve jobs is from Microsoft" I wished indian express mentioned it too !!
      1. V
        Jan 16, 2016 at 9:22 am
        Go and say this in Malda, kashmir and kerala
        1. C
          Jan 16, 2016 at 10:53 am
          Rahul always seems to be on a negative frame of mind. He should have the patience to wait and watch and see how new economic initiatives by the government shapes up rather than play it down. Perhaps, Rahul should get better advisers and speech writers as it's absurd to mix up a political issue with an economic initiative.
          1. A
            Jan 16, 2016 at 10:41 am
            Are you looking at PM who will disappear for 57 days and again go for year vacation for 8 days.
            1. B
              Bijan Mohanty
              Jan 16, 2016 at 8:30 am
              The problem with present ruling dispensation is that its speaking language during meetings, seminars, international gatherings and Maan Ki Baat programs is in sharp contrast to its ground level actions and implementations. Tolerance should be reflected in action , not merely in speeches.
              1. M
                Jan 25, 2016 at 8:21 am
                Rahul hi has lost his mind comparing start up india campaign to intolerance debate. It is regressive politics from Congress party.
                1. V
                  Veereshwar Bhaskar
                  Jan 16, 2016 at 1:57 pm
                  The word "Intolrance"has become a word added to Vote Bank politics. May GOD save our nation.
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