In these times of hyper-nationalism, Rahul Gandhi has invoked another vision of India. An India where states have primacy and independent identities but are joined together within the unity of a single nation. This idea is not new; it is the founding principle of our Constitution. On the face of it, all Rahul Gandhi did was to quote from the Constitution which calls India a ‘Union of States’.
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday delivered a speech in Lok Sabha in which he criticised PM Modi and the government on various issues. Talking about Ashoka, Rahul Gandhi said nowhere in the history a rule by the stick which he claimed that the BJP is doing has worked. The stick has always been smashed, Rahul Gandhi said.
Gandhi’s speech was in response to the presidential address on the Narendra Modi government’s Budget 2022
Here are some of the excerpts from his speech
“There are now two distinct Indias, one India is for the extremely rich people – for those who have immense wealth, immense power, for those who don’t need a job, those who don’t need water connection, electricity connections, but for those who control the heartbeat of the country…the gap is widening between the two”
“India is described in the Constitution as a union of states and not as a nation. One cannot rule over the people of a state in India. Different languages and cultures cannot be suppressed. It is a partnership, not a kingdom”
“Congress smashed the idea of a king in 1947, but now that has come back. There is a vision that India can be ruled by a stick from the Centre. Every time that has happened, the stick has been broken”
“That is the only way India has been ruled. You can look at Ashoka, Maurya, the country has always been ruled by conversation and negotiation.
“My great grandfather was jailed for 15 years. My grandmother was shot 32 times. My father was blown to bits. So I know what I am talking about. You are fiddling with something very, very dangerous. I am advising you to stop. If you don’t stop you will create a problem. The problem has already started”
“There are two competing visions of India. One, of a Union of States, where decisions are taken through conversation and negotiation – a partnership of equals. Another, of rule by a Shahenshah’s diktat. This hasn’t worked in 3,000 years. BJP’s flawed vision has weakened our nation”
“You keep talking about Made in India, Start-Up India, etc. And joblessness is only increasing. We had taken 27 crores, people, out of poverty. You have thrown 23 crores, people, back into poverty”
“I want to advise the PM that you are making two India. Please start working towards bringing the two India’s together. Stop sending the wealth of India to a chosen few…”