Congress President Rahul Gandhi wrapped up his Germany tour after an engaging and engrossing two days of interactions with academics, politicians, businessmen and expatriates. On his first day in Hamburg, he addressed the Bucerius Summer School and then headed to Berlin the next day for further talks with members of the German Bundestag, NGOs and businessmen followed by an address to the Indian Overseas Congress. People displayed great enthusiasm in the political and economic situation in India as well as in Mr. Gandhi’s vision for the country.
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In both his addresses, he was frank as well as critical, raised pertinent issues and did not shy away from expressing his opinions on contentious matters. From lack of growth and poor economic decisions, rise in hate crimes and divisive politics, role of women in nation building to India-China-US relations, here are few of the major issues that he raised-
Economic and Social Situation: “There is a job failure in the country and that is creating a lot of anger in society.”Stressing on the importance of inclusive economic development, Mr. Gandhi pointed out the dangers of lack of growth and job opportunities, especially when a section of society is left behind. Linking lack of development to growing crime rates, Mr. Gandhi said the BJP-led government’s weakening of “support structures” provided to the marginalised castes and sections, demonetisation and a “badly implemented” GST were the reasons for increasing incidents of mob lynching and attacks on Dalits and minorities. He attributed the growing violence in Indian society to resentment and frustration due to the job failure in the country. He also pointed out that the PM is reluctant to ‘accept the problem and fix it’.
Hate and Violence: “The only way you can fight violence is with non-violence” Reiterating his stand on non-violence, Mr. Gandhi stated that violence is a vicious cycle and the only way to combat it is by understanding the cause of anger behind the violence. Citing a personal anecdote in Berlin, he said that his hug for PM Modi in the parliament spread faster than the hate his opponents have been spewing against him.
Foreign policy outlook: Outlining his idea of India's foreign policy, Mr. Gandhi said that while India competes with China, both have different approaches to their countries’ development and India focuses more on the freedom of its citizens. He also added that India's role should be to balance the relations between US and China.
The idea of Congress: “We, in the Congress party, try and carry along as many people as possible.” Mr. Gandhi reminded the people that Congress has always worked for the people of India and has made every effort to be inclusive reaching out to all the Indians regardless of their political beliefs.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi has been constantly holding a mirror to the government and putting forth his vision for India of the future. As he proceeds to London, he will continue to interact with diverse people and raise pertinent issues that concern India and the world. He will also highlight as to how India, in the coming future, will play a major role in the relationship between countries and share his vision for an India our founding forefathers dreamt of.