In his first address to NRIs outside India after taking over as Congress president, Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused the government of dividing people on the basis of caste and religion, alleging it was converting the anger of jobless youth into hatred among communities.
Gandhi also assured the NRI community here that he would give a “new shining Congress party” in the next six months, hinting that there will be dramatic changes in the organisation, in which the people will believe in and trust.
Noting that there was a “serious problem” in the country, he urged NRIs help solve the problem and be a part of this restructuring.
He also exuded confidence that the Congress will defeat the BJP in 2019 as it had the strength and capability to do so, while noting that the saffron party merely scraped through in recent elections in Gujarat, which is their fortress.
Addressing NRIs at the meeting of Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), the Congress president gave his vision for the country saying his top three priorities would be to create jobs, good health infrastructure and an education system.
“India today is free, but once again it is under threat. There are two clear threats that face our country today. Our government has failed to create jobs for the people.
“Instead of uniting people of all religions together, the government is busy creating the anger due to lack of jobs into hatred between communities,” he said.
“There is a serious problem in the country and you can solve this problem. I have come here to build that bridge,” he told the gathering, while seeking their support in helping change India.
Gandhi claimed that the government’s failure to create jobs is resulting in “tremendous unrest” in India and this anger is visible in the streets and is rising with each passing day.
“Instead of removing poverty and creating jobs, what we see instead is a rise in the forces of hate and division”, he said.
The Congress chief, who received applause from NRIs who had come from various parts of the Middle East as well as other countries, said he has not come to tell them anything but, “I’ve come here to ask for your help. We need you to fight these forces of anger and hatred.”
Noting that Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and B R Ambedkar were also NRIs, he said “Our ancestors needed you in 1947 to protect the idea of India and I have come to seek your help to transform India now.”
Gandhi is here as a state guest of Bahrain.
He said that Indian politics is “quite a strange experience” and noted that signalling by politicians in the country is “wrong” that leads to incidents of hate and violence against people.
He said when such hate incidents take place, the government is silent on them and that should not happen.
“Today the problem is that the signalling is wrong. There is violence against somebody, there is silence. There should not be silence. The government of India should make its position clear. We cannot imagine an India that does not belong to all of us,” he said.