Launching a scathing attack at the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in the Centre, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that he had to launch ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ because all instruments of doing politics (connecting with people) were “being controlled” and the “whole India” walked with him during the mega foot march.
The Congress leader, who is on a 10-day tour to the US, was addressing the Indian diaspora at an event titled ‘Mohabbat ki Dukaan’ in San Francisco on Wednesday. Addressing a gathering there, Rahul Gandhi said, “Some months ago, we started a walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. While walking we realised that normal instruments for doing politics (connecting with people) were not working anymore. They were controlled by the BJP and RSS. People are threatened and agencies are used against them. In some way, it had become quite difficult to act politically. That is why we decided to walk from the southernmost tip of India to Srinagar.”
Taking a jibe at PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi said that some groups in India have the “disease” of being under the impression that they know everything.
“In India, we grew up with people of different languages, different religions. And that is what is being attacked. The tradition in India, of people like Gandhi Ji and Guru Nanak Ji, has been that you should not be under the impression of knowing everything. It is a ‘disease’ that some groups of India think that they know everything. Even if they have a conversation with God, they might explain to him,” he said.
Further adding to his remark, the Congress leader said, “And of course, Prime Minister is one of them. If you make him sit with God, he would start explaining to him (God) how the universe works…and God would get confused about what I had created.”
“They (BJP) can speak to scientists and explain science to them. They can explain history to historians, warfare to the army and flying to the air force. But at the heart of it, they don’t know anything,” he lamented.
Rahul Gandhi went on accusing the BJP-led government in the Centre of “trying everything to stop” his ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, but nothing was working against the “effect” of the foot march.
“When we started the Yatra, we thought, let’s see what happens. In 5-6 days, we realised walking thousands of kilometres is not an easy job. I had an old knee injury that started to act up. Then quite a surprising thing happened. After walking 25 km every day, I felt that I am not feeling tired at all. Everybody around me said that they were not feeling tired. It was not us that was walking, the whole of India was walking with us,” the Congress leader said.
He further said that it was during the Yatra when the idea of ‘Nafrat Ke Bazaar Mein Mohabbat Ki Dukaan’ came up to his mind.
“Not just in India, ‘Bharat Jodo’ is an idea which is about respecting each other and being affectionate to each other. It is about not being violent towards each other, not being arrogant. And I did nothing compared to Guru Nanak Ji. I read that he walked to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. He was doing Bharat Jodo much before. In Karnataka, Basavana ji. In Kerala, Narayan Guruji, every state has had these giants,” he said.
The Congress leader said that one cannot know anything without listening to people.
“That’s the tradition of our country. We have the ability to absorb any idea that comes. India has never rejected any idea. Everybody has been received with open arms. And their idea has been absorbed. India that respects everyone, India that is humble, India that is affectionate. And that’s the India that you represent. You were not here if you had not believed in this. If you had believed in anger, hatred, arrogance, you would have gone to BJP, and I would have started ‘Mann ki Baat’,” Rahul Gandhi added.