Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said the entire BJP leadership, including A B Vajpayee, wanted to ban English in India.
Addressing party workers at Cheruthuruthy in Thrissur, marking the day’s leg of Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul said the idea of his yatra was to build bridges between people, between religions and between different communities.
“The BJP and RSS are working to destroy the idea of India. The entire BJP, including Vaypayee, wanted to ban English. They gave long speeches on how English should be banned. When India attained independence, we sent the British back. We did not ban English. In fact, we promoted English. If India had banned English after attaining independence, would there be an IT industry in the country? Would there be people going to the US? Would there be people who build bridges between the industry in the US and industry in India,’’ he said.
He said the BJP and RSS are attacking the idea of India. “They work for a few people, not for the entire mass of the country. For them, India is a place to be ruled. For us, India is a voice to be heard. That is why we are walking 3,500 km. Because, we believe in your voice,’’ he said.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra is currently touring Thrissur district. Earlier in the day, after the morning leg, Rahul flew to Nilambur in Malappuram by a chopper to pay homage to departed Congress veteran Aryadan Muhammed.
“A committed Congressman, Aryadan Mohammed’s contributions in the development and progress of Kerala would always be greatly valued,’’ Rahul said.
Resuming the yatra later, Rahul interacted with ex-servicemen at Wadakkanchery in Thrissur. A few participants in the interaction spoke about the Agnipath scheme and wanted Rahul to seek its rollback. They also raised concerns about the one rank one pension scheme.