Rahul Gandhi’s Two India, 3 Times Rahul Gandhi accused of exploiting fault lines between North vs South
There are now 2 India’s- one for the poor and one for the rich’
3 Times Rahul Gandhi accused of exploiting fault lines between North vs South
Rahul Gandhi’s Two India: Rahul Gandhi’s made a fiery speech in Lok Sabha targeting the current government. He criticized Prime Minister Modi and the government on various issues, during the Motion of Thanks to the president’s address in Lok Sabha on 2 January 2022. In his parliament speech, he said that the government had favoured the extremely rich Indians, at the risk of medium and small enterprises and informal sectors. His speech touched upon the Pegasus controversy, India-China row, farmers’ protest among other issues. The congress MP tore into the government over unemployment.
‘There are now 2 Indias- one for the poor and one for the rich’
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“There are now two Indias- one for the poor and one for the rich”, said Gandhi in the parliament. He also accused the PM of consolidating power at the centre. “The party cannot treat India as its ‘kingdom’ as India is a Union of States. Different languages and cultures cannot be suppressed. It is a partnership, not a kingdom”, said Gandhi accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of bringing back the idea of a ‘king of India’.
He further added, “The idea of a king has come back which congress removed in 1947. Now there is a Shehanshah”. He stressed the importance of cooperative federalism, conversation, and negotiation. He claimed that the confusion over the unity of the states was playing havoc in the country. The Congress leader also shared his worries about the nation being at risk.
Raising his concerns, Rahul Gandhi said, “We have been weakened. Our institutions are under attack, and we are surrounded. China has a clear vision of what they want to do”. He talked about the threat to the nation from the China-Pakistan alliance.
“The strategic goal of India should have been to keep China and Pakistan separate. But what you have done is to bring them together”, said MP Rahul Gandhi.
This has stirred up a major controversy around the ‘Idea of India’.
Since then, the BJP has attacked Rahul Gandhi over the speech. They have accused him of making a “directionless, confused speech”.
The Times Rahul Gandhi accused of exploiting fault lines between North vs South
In his speech, he quoted from the constitution that India is a ‘Union of States’ and not a ‘Nation’. However, Critics pointed out that beyond the rhetoric of federalism, was a playbook of covertly reviving sub-nationalism sentiments.
However, this was not the first time when Rahul Gandhi invoked the covert binary of ‘Us vs Them’. On many occasions previously, he has been accused of exploiting the fault lines between the North vs South.
In March 2019, Rahul Gandhi said, “The way Indian women have been treated leaves a lot to be desired. South India is significantly better than north India on this front. If you visit states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, you will be shocked to see the way women are treated. Tamil Nadu can be considered as a leader in treating women.
In April 2019, there is a feeling in south India that the way Modi and RSS are working is a threat to their culture, language, and history.
In April 2020, Gandhi claimed, “They (south Indians) are doing a better job, because they are more decentralized. Northern states are centralizing power and taking away power from panchayats and other organizations”.
In February 2021 another statment released by Rahul Gandhi was, “For the first 15 years, I was an MP from North. Therefore, I got used to a different type of politics. For me, coming to Kerala was very refreshing. People here are interested in real issues and not superficial ones.”
Rahul Gandhi’s overt positioning may be seen as an attempt to gather regional parties with the congress, 2 years ahead of the next general election. But the last thing India needs is yet another polarisation on the religious, linguistic or cultural lines.