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Rahul accuses Modi govt of aiming to ‘mutilate’ Indian Constitution

PTI | Bengaluru |

Launching a scathing attack on the Modi government, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday alleged it was "mutilating" the Indian Constitution through "systematic capture" of democratic institutions by the Prime Minister, bureaucracy and the RSS.

"There was a man called Hitler and he once wrote –keep a very firm grasp on reality so you can strangle it at any time. Today this is what is happening all around us. This strangulation of reality," Gandhi said, as he targeted Modi and the RSS, saying they want India to "surrender its voice."

"The aim is to mutilate the Indian Constitution which was given to us by Sri Ambedkar. That is the aim, to mutilate the Constitution given to us by Mr Ambedkar," Gandhi said at the inauguration of the three-day BR Ambedkar International Conference organised by the Karnataka government here.

Gandhi said India lost its Independence because when Britishers stepped on its soil millions and millions of people kept quiet and allowed the British to do exactly what they pleased because they were powerful.

"And that is exactly what is happening today. When the journalist doesn't write about the violence in front of her eyes, when the judge is pressurised into giving a judgment..that is exactly what is happening."

"India's freedom was not simply taken away by the British. It was handed over to them by some Indians….we lost our voice because we surrendered it."

"And this is exactly what Modi and RSS want. They want India to surrender its voice."

Observing that there were two ways to rob people of their voice — to frighten them into submission and to shout so loudly that no one else can be heard–, he said, "Narendra Modiji and the RSS are doing exactly that."

"What is happening today is the systematic capture of India's democratic institutions by the Prime Minister, by the bureaucracy and the RSS….," he alleged.

"Do not forget that every single Indian will be robbed of their voice, every single Indian will be robbed of his future. We must firstly keep the firm grip on reality. We must never ever allow them to strangle it," he said.

Attacking Modi on demonetisation and for not listening to farmers, Gandhi said, "The emperor is completely naked, but nobody around him has the courage to tell him."

Referring to the Rohit Vemula suicide controversy, he said, "They call it suicide, I call it murder. Rohit was crushed and murdered by the indignities he suffered. He was killed only because he was a Dalit. The instrument of his murder was the letter written to his university by the Government of India. A letter that destroyed his future forever."

Also referring to the lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq at Dadri, he said he was "butchered" because they said he stole a calf which was a lie. Instead of questioning his brutal killing, they asked whether the meat in the fridge was mutton or beef, he said.

He said thousands of farmers commit suicide and the government looks the other way. But the government can forgive any amount of corporate debt, calling it corporate write-offs, but farmers were given nothing, he said.

Lashing out at Modi on demonetisation, he said thousands of businesses were wiped out and "hundreds of people simply died…"

Gandhi said, "…privately our friends in the press called it insanity but publicly they called it the stroke of genius."

Ridiculing Modi's talk about "plastic surgery and Ganeshji," Gandhi said, "He talks about nuclear weapons and flying chariot in ancient India, about the perfect country without misery, without poverty and without the crime of caste. Well let me tell you he is lying."

"The BJP wants to paint a lie over India so that they can return to a forgotten time… forgotten age. An age where people were humiliated by power, where people voices were crushed….where millions and millions of Indians were untouchables."

"The truth embedded in the history of India is the betrayal of the weakest by the powerful," he said.

The conference, inaugurated by American civil rights activist Martin Luther King III and attended by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, has been organised to commemorate the 126th birth annivesary of Ambedkar.