NEW DELHI: After two international organisations criticised India on freedom and democracy, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday mentioned the “state of affairs is far worse than they’ve imagined”.
He additionally mentioned he was defending a sure ideology within the Congress get together and wouldn’t step apart simply because another person doesn’t prefer it and proceed to battle the RSS.
He additionally mentioned he favoured inner democracy within the Congress and has promoted many leaders throughout the get together.
In a web-based interplay with Professor Ashutosh Varshney of the Brown College within the US, Gandhi mentioned electoral democracy might be “destroyed” within the twenty first century if one can management the social media and establishments and has monetary dominance, whereas citing the examples of Saddam Hussain and Muammar Gaddafi.
Requested about Sweden’s V-Dem Institute’s democracy report that has downgraded India from the “world’s largest democracy” to an “electoral autocracy” and the US government-funded NGO, Freedom Home, downgrading the nation’s standing from “free” to “partly free”, he mentioned these international establishments have their view, however “frankly, we don’t want a stamp from them”.
Reside: My interplay with Prof Ashutosh Varshney, college & college students of Brown College. https://t.co/1goKjIgp9H
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 16, 2021
Gandhi, nevertheless, added that directionally, what they’re saying is “appropriate”.
“I’d add one factor. I’d say they’re much behind the curve. I believe the state of affairs is definitely a lot worse than they imagined,” he mentioned.
The federal government has strongly rebutted the Freedom Home report and known as it “deceptive, incorrect and misplaced”, whereas asserting that the nation has well-established democratic practices.
Exterior Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has additionally slammed world our bodies for his or her “hypocrisy” and known as them “self-appointed custodians of the world, who discover it very tough to abdomen that any individual in India isn’t searching for their approval”.
Throughout his interplay with Varshney and the scholars and college members of the Brown College, Gandhi mentioned one can not separate electoral democracy from institutional frameworks.
“An election isn’t merely about folks going and urgent a button on a voting machine. An election is about narrative, about establishments that make it possible for the framework within the nation is working correctly, an election is a few judiciary that’s being honest, an election is a few debate that’s going down in Parliament. So that you want these issues for the vote to rely,” he mentioned, noting that even Saddam Hussain and Gaddafi used to have elections and win these, however there was no institutional framework to guard that vote.
Requested whether or not he would step apart and permit others to turn into leaders within the get together, the previous Congress chief mentioned he’s preventing an ideological warfare and would proceed to take action.
“I imagine in sure concepts and I defend these concepts. I do not likely care what my title is or who my grandfather was. There are specific concepts that I defend and I’m going to defend them, whether or not anyone likes it or not,” he mentioned.
Gandhi mentioned no one from his household has been the prime minister since 1989, “however there’s an obsession that someway we’re in energy”.
“I’ve a job to play within the Congress. I defend a selected ideological color within the Congress. I’m definitely not going to say thanks very a lot, I can’t defend that ideological place within the Congress simply because I occur to be so and so’s son. Why ought to I?” he requested.
“If you happen to had mentioned to me to step apart after I was not dealing with the RSS, I’d be like sure, I might do this. However for those who say that there’s this monster that’s coming on the concepts that I imagine in, then I’d say no, I’d not again down,” he mentioned.
On a query on ought to others turn into leaders within the Congress, Gandhi mentioned, “Completely, 100 per cent. I’m more than pleased to push as many leaders as attainable and make as a lot of them profitable and that’s my report…that’s all I do all day lengthy. I push folks and push them ahead.”
He mentioned he has been pushing for elections within the get together from day one and has been mauled within the press as a result of he needs elections.
“It’s fascinating to me that when I’m pushing for inner democracy, everyone is saying don’t do it,” Gandhi mentioned, including that neither the BJP nor the BSP or every other political get together has elections.
“However I imagine we’ve got an even bigger accountability and we should always have inner elections,” he mentioned.
To a different query from Varshney, Gandhi mentioned with trendy expertise coming in, if one controls WhatsApp and Fb, one doesn’t have to assault the vote as one can management the narrative.
“You possibly can destroy an electoral democracy within the twenty first century you probably have received Fb, WhatsApp, you probably have monetary dominance and for those who management the establishments, why would not you let folks simply go and vote…simply preserve that pretense,” he mentioned.
Gandhi alleged that the RSS has captured India’s establishments and it has been doing so overtly since 2014, when the BJP got here to energy on the Centre.
“It is vitally apparent to me that the establishments allowed a negotiation between our identities, cultures, languages. What I see is a decided assault on these establishments and a seize of these establishments,” he famous.
Requested if the state of affairs is corresponding to the US, Gandhi mentioned there are components of that going down within the US.
“I’m no one to touch upon the US….However my sense is that the American establishments are displaying way more resilience than the Indian ones. I get the sense that the American system is countering this onslaught higher than our system,” he mentioned.