Congress President Rahul Gandhi is in Hamburg today and will be speaking at Kampnagel Theater, Bucerius Summer School. Mr. Gandhi, through his widely appreciated and publicised intercations at Princeton University, Berkeley, Singapore and Bahrain, represents the face of a new & progressive India, one that is built on cooperation and not polarization for all Indians overseas. The government of the day has failed to deliver on its promises. Growth rates have fallen, job creation is at all-time low, arbitrary economic decisions like demonetisation and GST crippled an already struggling economy and free speech and liberty has been curbed to suppress any form of vocal dissent against the ruling party. These are the issues that Mr. Gandhi has constantly focused on and raised during his addresses and interactions. As Mr. Gandhi embarks on his 4 day tour of Germany and UK for his NRI outreach programme, here are a few reasons why you should not miss his upcoming engagements.
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Focus on real issues: “If India is able to lift another 350 million people out of poverty by 2030, it would be an achievement that the human race can be proud of. But it is imperative that India sustains a high growth rate for an uninterrupted period of 10-15 years in order to do so.” Growth and development have been central themes of several of Mr. Gandhi’s addresses. From unemployment to the plight of farmers, failing public health care to failure to eradicate poverty, Congress President has repeatedly highlighted real concerns in Indian politics and society. He has launched a coherent, constant attack on the policies of the Modi government including the ill-conceived demonetisation and GST, the inaction against spiralling number of lynching cases and raised important issues related to the country’s governance.
Rejecting hate politics: “The politics of hate divides and polarises India making millions of people feel that they have no future in their own country. In today’s connected world, this is extremely dangerous. It isolates people and makes them vulnerable to radical ideas”. Acknowledging that lack of employment opportunities and anger amongst the youth are being capitalised on by the government to create an environment of hate, Mr. Gandhi has repeatedly rejected all attempts at dividing the citizens on religious lines. He has instead stressed that the Congress party’s vision will be on creating a better, more educated and poverty free India.
Ability to grow and transform: “The party decides the policy and vision through conversations and not by imposition. However, in 2012, certain arrogance crept into the party and we stopped having a conversation. For rebuilding the party, we need to design a vision that we can use moving forward.” In accepting, acknowledging and willingness to learn from past, Mr. Gandhi has revealed tremendous ability to listen to diverse opinions and create an inclusive space for dialogue and deliberation. The same space is reflected in his interactions with people.
In the face of increasingly autocratic governance pervading the country, it is imperative that space is created for a progressive leader who embraces diversity, not represses it, a leader that understands the aspirations of Indians and not deceives the people with lies and propaganda.