Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi+ on Tuesday tore into the Modi government saying that “violence, anger and the politics of polarisation have raised their ugly head in India”, a development “that is new to the country”.
In a rare bit of introspection, he also talked about what has led to the Congress party’s decline.
“Around 2012, arrogance crept into Congress party and we stopped having conversations with people,” he said when asked about the Congress party’s path forward and whether it had any shortcomings.
Earlier in his speech, he harshly criticised the Centre for the recent spate of lynchings+ and cow-related vigilante acts of violence.
“The politics of polarization is very dangerous. Hatred, anger and violence can destroy us. Liberal journalists are being shot. People are being lynched, dalits are being killed over suspicions of carrying beef, Muslims are killed over suspicions of eating beef, all this is new in India,” said Rahul in an address at the University of California in Berkeley.
The Congress vice president further said the violence is becoming more mainstream in the country today and that “is (a) dangerous) path.
“The idea of non-violence is under attack today, yet it is only idea which can take humanity forward,” said Rahul.
The Congress leader also criticised the Modi’s government’s decision to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes+ last November and called it a “unilateral” move.
“Decisions like demonetisation which remove 86% of cash from circulation were done unilaterally, without asking the chief economic advisor or the Cabinet or even Parliament, it (demonetisation) imposed a devastating cost. It cost us two percent loss in GDP. The government’s economic policies and the hastily applied GST (Goods and Service Tax) can cause tremendous damage,” added Rahul.
The Congress leader also talked at some length about why it is extremely important to create jobs in India and while doing so, again took a jab at the Modi government as well as at China.
“12 million youth enter the job market annually. India is a democracy and unlike China, India has to create jobs in a democratic environment. India doesn’t want or need China’s coercive model,” he said.