As a country, our roots
are deeply embedded in the philosophy of liberalism. Liberal values define
India's ideals, and we at the Congress party are proud to be some of the most
passionate advocates for them. We are fully committed to democratic principles
of transparency and inclusiveness, unlike many others who simply pay lip
service to liberal values that they never intend to uphold.
Years back, when India
attained freedom, we were a nation that went into celebration and mourning at
the same time. India was free, but still under siege by a vicious ideology of
intolerance, the ideology of RSS. It was this intolerance that took Mahatma
Gandhi from us and the heartrending words of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru ' 'The light
has gone out of our lives'¦' ' still echo in our minds whenever we remember that
We were a nation
destroyed, but not defeated. As custodians of a newborn nation that had just
lost its father, we had the great responsibility to protect our glorious
liberal traditions that were under threat.
Our moment of triumph came
when we scripted India's Constitution and ensured that our people enjoy real
freedom. Thanks to our Constitution, every Indian today has the freedom of
speech and expression, the freedom to assemble peacefully, the freedom to form
associations or unions, the freedom to move freely throughout India, the
freedom to settle in any part of India and the freedom to practice any
We're immensely proud of
our success in preserving India's liberal values. India today is the proud
inheritor of a way of life that adopts the best democratic ideals the world has
to offer. Our liberalism is about accepting the world with open arms without
letting it affect our basic values as people. These liberal values are what set
us apart in the community of nations today and make us a cultural superpower.
Our liberal ideology is
evident in the words of our leaders. When the rights of our LGBT community were
struck down by a court, Sonia Gandhi said: 'We are proud that our culture has
always been an inclusive and tolerant one...I hope that Parliament will address
this issue and uphold the Constitutional guarantee of life and liberty to all
citizens of India, including those directly affected by this judgment.'
The RSS, which drives the
agenda of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has been unabashed in baring its
intentions. They recently said they will not compromise on 'moral values,
social system and traditions in the name of individual freedom' when it comes
to issues like 'live-in relationships' and 'homosexuality.'
Last October, they barged
into the office of The Hindu after they published an article against RSS. The
journalist who wrote it received threats.
In January, they attacked
the office of a political party in Ghaziabad after their leader expressed his
opinion on Kashmir.
In February, they carried
out protests and issued threats to the staff of The Caravan magazine. They had
done a cover story on RSS activist Swami Aseemanand who is in jail on terror
In February again, they
threatened another senior Indian journalist and news presenter over a mere
They are not hiding their
intentions any longer. They're rejecting the principles of tolerance and
openness which our country holds so dear and we as a people must be on our
guard -- our freedom is at stake.