Rahul Gandhi blasts RSS, BJP’s ‘rigid thinking’

Mumbai, Jan 16 (IANS) Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for what he termed as their “rigid thinking” which hampers creativity and start-ups in the country.


Interacting with B-school students of the prestigious Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) here, Gandhi said the BJP-RSS have “a clear idea of what the world should be” according to their viewpoint.

“When you are intolerant, you curb the movement of ideas… India needs openness, flexibility… You can’t have start-ups and be intolerant at the same time,” Gandhi said.

Citing examples, he said the Congress party brought and encouraged a culture of tolerance in the country, people were free to discuss ideas which ultimately culminated in the freedom movement.

Clad in casual jeans and tee-shirt, Gandhi urged the students not to put “labels on people, industry or things, as labels are human inventions” and stifle growth.

Hitting out at the ruling BJP-led NDA’s policies, the Congress leader said India is essentially an agrarian economy, but the present government was not doing enough for the farmers.

“We have been a traditional agri-economy, but we have made a smooth transition from agri to IT and knowledge economy now. A few years ago, we had launched National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), it was strongly resisted, but now it contributes in a large measure to the nine percent growth as it was injecting cash into rural economy and it built a rural infrastructure,” Gandhi pointed out.

Though Indian farms are now divided and not capable of sustaining families, he said agriculture was not a problem for the farmers, but for the businessmen, industrialists, etc.

“The UPA had strategy of supporting farmers, but the present government has a different focus which is not on farmers or agriculture… They tried to stop NREGA and other UPA policies, but we put pressure on them,” he said.

Replying to a question on China, Gandhi said the Asian Communist giant is more powerful and economically stronger, but it grabs and pulls you as it is a centralized economy.

On the other hand, India’s power is never about the military, but about ideas with which we make the other person turn around to our perspective — “India grabs you, but you never feel it.”

But, he said for all its growth, now at 11 percent, China paid a price with many people dying, but not in India with a 9 percent growth — “We are a soft power… and not a threat to the world.”

To a query on the start-up hype, Gandhi said any start-up requires a whole support system to allow an entrepreneur to grow, with access to finance, freedom from government regulations, infrastructure, etc.

“That’s why it’s considered easier to launch start-ups in states like Maharashtra or Karnataka, but businesses face a huge problem in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar, though some of the most entrepreneurial people come from there,” Gandhi said.


  1. Beautifully said. I am yet to come across any sensible young leader with mass appeal who can lead India as a liberal, democratic and progressive nation. DNA after all matters!!.

  2. Dear readers,

    The Modi mania is fading so fast that people have even started to warm up to Rahul Gandhi. Suddenly, he is seen as someone who can cause the BJP a few headaches. It is not the case that Rahul has miraculously transformed into a credible contender for power; it is that the fabled Modi magic has lost its pull.
    According to close BJP watchers, the party appears seriously rattled by a seemingly re-energised Rahul, and is struggling to mount a credible counter attack. Amit Shah’s cheap jibe at Rahul’s Italian links (“Rahulji, you’re wearing Italian glasses, that’s why you see no difference (between UPA and BJP government)’’ is a sign of growing jitters at the highest level of party leadership.
    Resorting to personal attacks when you’ve got no credible counter-narrative is an old tactic designed to deflect attention from the real issue. It might get you a sexy headline but doesn’t work in the long-term.

    Indeed, the most disappointed are those who were its most enthusiastic supporters–young “aspirational” professionals; entrepreneurs; media; and the corporate sector. We all know the reasons: a lack of broad vision beyond the mantra of development; mediocrity at the top; and the Sangh Parivar’s intolerance and xenophobia.
    But the most important is the perception of arrogance—the party’s line that the Prime Minister knows all; and knows best. And anyone who questions him is either daft or a fifth columnist.
    It is called hubris.
    There is a song from the 1974 Rajesh Khanna-Mumtaz starrer Roti warning politicians against taking the public for granted beyond a point? Because, “Yeh Jo Public Hai; Yeh sab Jaanti hai”.

    Jai Hind

  3. Rahul lecturing the MBA students! Does he know what the tolerance means? He and his party are so intolerant that they lost the election and are prepared to do anything to destroy the democracy and harm the nation for their self interest. Rather he should be talking about what went wrong during the past 60 years of Congress rule and what needs to be done to undo the wrongs during the time of his great grand father, grandmother and father. He should have been talking about management of the nation’s resources and how the future MBA graduates can contribute to the progress of the country instead of talking about politics. Strangely he is good neither in management nor politics and he was the speaker invited by the so called prestigious management school.

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