When you are intolerant, you curb the movement of ideas: Rahul Gandhi takes on RSS, BJP in Mumbai

Rg interaction nmims mumbai 16 01 16 05 Wed, 01 Jun 2016

When you are intolerant, you curb the movement of ideas: Rahul Gandhi takes on RSS, BJP in Mumbai

Mumbai: Congress vice-president Shri Rahul Gandhi on 16thJanaury, 2016 attacked the BJP and RSS for what he termed as their “rigid thinking” which hampers creativity and start-ups in the country. Interacting with students of the prestigious Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) in Mumbai, Shri Rahul Gandhi said the BJP-RSS have “a clear idea of what the world should be” according to their viewpoint. Rahul Gandhi said, “When you are intolerant, you curb the movement of ideas... India needs openness, flexibility... You can’t have start-ups and be intolerant at the same time,” Congress Vice President, Shri Rahul Gandhi said. Citing examples, he said the Congress party brought and encouraged a culture of tolerance in the country, people were free to discuss ideas which ultimately culminated in the freedom movement. Shri Rahul Gandhi urged the students not to put “labels on people, industry or things, as labels are human inventions” and stifle growth.Hitting out at the ruling BJP-led NDA’s policies, the Congress leader said, India is essentially an agrarian economy, but the present government was not doing enough for the farmers. “We have been a traditional agri-economy, but we have made a smooth transition from agri to IT and knowledge economy now. A few years ago, we had launched Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), it was strongly resisted, but now it contributes in a large measure to the nine percent growth as it was injecting cash into rural economy and it built a rural infrastructure,” Shri Rahul Gandhi pointed out. 

Though Indian farms are now divided and not capable of sustaining families, he said agriculture was not a problem for the farmers, but for the businessmen, industrialists, etc. “The UPA had strategy of supporting farmers, but the present government has a different focus which is not on farmers or agriculture... They tried to stop MNREGA and other UPA policies, but we put pressure on them,” he said. On China, Congress Vice President Shri Rahul Gandhi said the Asian Communist giant is more powerful and economically stronger, but it grabs and pulls you as it is a centralized economy. On the other hand, India’s power is never about the military, but about ideas with which we make the other person turn around to our perspective — “India grabs you, but you never feel it.” But, he said for all its growth, now at 11 percent, China paid a price with many people dying, but not in India with a 9 percent growth — “We are a soft power... and not a threat to the world.” To a query on the start-up hype, Shri Rahul Gandhi said, any start-up requires a whole support system to allow an entrepreneur to grow, with access to finance, freedom from government regulations, infrastructure, etc.”That’s why it’s considered easier to launch start-ups in states like Maharashtra or Karnataka, but businesses face a huge problem in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar, though some of the most entrepreneurial people come from there,” Shri Rahul Gandhi said. 

Rahul Gandhi trains guns on Narendra Modi, strikes argumentative tone on GST 

Mumbai: Congress Vice President Shri Rahul Gandhi trained his guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he is surprised to see how swiftly public anger has grown against the BJP government at the Centre and in Maharashtra. He brought the deadlock on the BJP’s ambitious indirect tax reform - the GST bill, back into focus saying the Congress will not relent unless the ruling party accepts its demands for tweaks in the proposed legislation. Shri Rahul Gandhi is in Mumbai as part of a two day tour. “Normally, whenever a government is voted to power, they remain popular for a while, their credibility remains for three to four years. However, I am surprised as to how soon the BJP’s credibility has fallen both at the Centre and in the state,” Congress Vice President said. “Modiji has spoken about a smart city, Mumbai has also been included in the smart city list. However, they allocated only Rs 100 crore for Mumbai when the budget for Mumbai is worth thousands of crores. When you speak of smart city and just give Rs 100 crore to Mumbai then your (Modi’s) credibility will go down.” On GST, Shri Rahul Gandhi said the Congress has three conditions on GST: A cap on the rate of GST at less than 20%, scrapping a proposed state levy and creating an independent mechanism to resolve disputes on revenue sharing between states. Shri Rahul Gandhi also said that the Mumbai Congress President, Shri Sanjay Nirupam would not be removed from his post following the controversy over publishing anti-Nehru articles in the party mouthpiece. 

Learn entrepreneurship from Mumbai’s Dharavi: Rahul tells PM Modi 

Mumbai: On the last day of his visit to Mumbai, Shri Rahul Gandhi embarked on a road march (padyatra) along with hundreds of Congress workers from the posh up market Bandra to the wretched slums of Dharavi. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi targeted the BJP-led government at the Centre over the price-rise issue, raising questions over why the rates of essential commodities were skyrocketing at a time when international oil prices have hit record lows. He said the Narendra Modi government’s policies were benefiting only a few top industrialists of the country and took potshots at the NDA’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. “When UPA Government was in power, the petrol price (in global market) was 150 dollars a barrel. Now, this has come down to 29 dollars per barrel. I want to know where these lakhs of crores of money, which have been saved on account of lower oil prices, have gone? Why have the prices of pulses shot up to 230 rupees a kg?” he asked. “This is happening because the Modi government’s policies are benefiting only top two or three industrialists of the country. When our government was in power, we worked for the benefit of the common people,” he added. He took potshots over the Centre’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and asked the Prime Minister to visit Dharavi, a sprawling slum locality in the heart of Mumbai, and see for himself how entrepreneurship works. “Modiji you should first come here in Dharavi (which houses hundreds of small-scale industries) and see the kind of entrepreneurial works that take place here. First complete ‘Make in Dharavi’, only then will ‘Make in India’ bear fruit,” the Congress vice-president said. Congress Vice President, Shri
Rahul Gandhi was speaking at a gathering at the end of his padayatra (foot march) from suburban Bandra to Dharavi undertaken to highlight the issue of “high” electricity tariff in the metropolis.