NEW DELHI: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who is visiting the US, reignited the intolerance debate saying the non-resident Indians expressed concerns over the issue in their recent interactions with him.
According to a transcript of his address at a reception hosted by the Indian Overseas Congress released by the party, Rahul said he met lot of people from the US administration, from both Democratic and Republican parties, and NRIs, and before he could even tell what he was worried about, they told him exactly the same thing.
“The single biggest thing most people told me, what has happened to the tolerance that used to prevail in India? What has happened to the harmony in India?,” Rahul said.
At the reception hosted by IOC chairman and Gandhi family loyalist Sam Pitroda, Rahul spoke about intolerance in the country.
“The world is transforming and people are looking towards us. Many countries in a violent world are looking to India and saying maybe, India has the answer to the 21st century. Maybe India has the answer for peaceful coexistence in the 21st century. So, we cannot afford to lose our most powerful asset. Our most important asset is that 1.3 billion people lived happily, non-violently, peacefully and the world respected us for that,” said Rahul.
Gandhi said when an idea is good, India absorbs it quickly and shows how it can be used.
I had many conversations during my trip. Most people were worried about what has happened to the tolerance that used to prevail in India pic.twitter.com/tB8RfHte8t— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) September 21, 2017
"Some people view India as a geographical construct. They view India as a piece of land. I don't view India as a piece of land. I view India as a set of ideas. So for me, anybody who has the ideas that make up India is an Indian," Gandhi said.
"Ideas take time to travel into India. But, when an idea is good, India understands it very quickly, and uses it and shows the world how it can be used," he added.
The Congress leader tried to woo the influential NRI community by urging them to join hands with the party.
NRIs have tremendous knowledge and understanding in different fields. I invite you to work with the Congress and discuss the vision forward— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) September 21, 2017
Terming the original Congress movement as an NRI movement, Rahul said that Mahatma Gandhi was an NRI, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru came back from England and freedom movement stalwarts like Dr BR Ambedkar, Maulana Azad, Sardar Patel- these were all NRIs.
“Every single one of them went to the outside world, saw the outside world, returned back to India and used some the ideas they got and transformed India,” he said.
(With IANS inputs)