Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi addressed students at the prestigious University of California, Berkeley on ‘India at 70: Reflections on the Path Forward’.
In an hour long speech Gandhi offered his reflections on contemporary India and the path forward for the world’s largest democracy.
The Congress leader is on a two-week visit to the US. Gandhi will interact with global thinkers and political leaders, and address overseas Indians as part of an outreach initiative by his party during his US visit.
Here are the high points of Rahul Gandhi’s speech:
- Everybody knows that so much has gone wrong in the political system
India is a massive country and is also one of the most complex countries. Everyone who thinks he/she knows India faces surprises every once in a while…. She keeps throwing new surprises
- My great grandfather came here and gave a speech… and I thank you for inviting me here.
- Idea of non violence or ahimsa is what has allowed this mass of people(India) to rise together.
- There is no democratic country in history which has raised so many people out of poverty as India
- It is a place where an individual doesn’t have an idea, instead, an idea has an individual
- At one point of time, many felt that India was destined to fail… but India moves ahead, strong.
- As Indira Gandhi was asked whether India will switch ‘Left or Right’. She said it will stand straight and tall.
- When Rajiv Gandhi and Sam Pitroda spoke about the idea of computers in India, people laughed and ridiculed them.
- Why do we need computers, we were asked
- In fact, a BJP leader who went on to become Prime Minister later said, Why does a country like India need computers?
- Idea of non-violence is under attack today, yet it is only idea which can take humanity forward.
- Small and medium entrepreneurs are the bedrock of India’s economic progress.
- I understand what violence does, violence against anybody is wrong.
- Hatred, anger and violence can destroy us, the politics of polarisation is dangerous.
- Liberal journalists are being shot, people are being lynched. These incidents are making millions feel that they have no future in their country.
- Government’s economic policy of demonetisation and hastily implemented GST has caused tremendous pressure on the economy.
- Demonetisation has led to decline in economic growth.
- Unlike China, India has to create jobs in a democratic manner.
- Congress decides policy and vision through conversations and not by imposition.
- He (PM Modi) massively opened up space for the terrorists in Kashmir, and you saw the increase in violence.
- When we started, terrorism was rampant in Kashmir, when we finished there was peace, we had broken the back of terrorism.
- Around 2012, arrogance crept into Congress party and we stopped having conversations with people.
- Mr Modi has clamped down RTI, amount of information is not flying around.
- Mr.Modi has certain skills, he is a very good communicator, much better than me.
- He knows how to give a message to 3-4 different groups in a crowd, so his messaging ability is very effective and subtle.
- What I sense is he doesn’t converse with people he works with, even members of Parliament and BJP tell me that.