In His Speech At The University Of California, Rahul Gandhi Admits Arrogance As The Reason Of Congress’s Failure

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2:07 pm 13 Sep, 2017


In 1949, Jawaharlal Nehru had delivered a historic speech at the American University, and now, 68 years after that speech, his great-grandson, Rahul Gandhi, followed in his footsteps. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi addressed the University of California, Berkeley, on Tuesday on the topic ‘India At 70: Reflections On The Path Forward’. Among a number of other things, Gandhi said that he is absolutely ready to take charge of Congress as party president. In his speech, he also confessed that a “certain amount of arrogance” had crept up within the party halfway through UPA II and that it had stopped carrying out “conversations with people”. While responding to a question on dynasty politics, he named some politicians and said that India runs on a dynasty.

Rahul Gandhi delivered a speech at University of California Twitter


The Indian Express quotes him saying,


Most parties in India have that problem (dynastic politics). So, don’t give us the stick… Akhilesh Yadav is a dynast. Stalin is a dynast. (Prem Kumar) Dhumal’s son is a dynast… Even Abhishek Bachchan is a dynast. That is how India runs. Don’t get after me because that is how the entire country is running. By the way, last I recall, Ambani’s kids were running their business and that was also going on in Infosys. That is what happens in India.

On being asked if he was prepared to head the party, Rahul Gandhi said,

I am absolutely ready to do that. But the way our party works, we have an organisational election process that decides that… That is a decision that the Congress party has to make.

While he did not leave the chance to criticize Narendra Modi and his government, he also said good words about some of their work. He said Modi is a good communicator and knows how to give a message to three or four different groups in a crowd but he doesn’t converse with the people he works with.

He also accused Modi of encouraging divisive politics, wrecking the economy through demonetization, implementing GST hastily and creating space for terrorism in Kashmir by associating with the Peoples Democratic Party.

He also appreciated some of the initiatives of Narendra Modi government such as Make in India and Clean India.

Talking about rebuilding the party, he said,

Any party in India that is in power for 10 years will run into a problem. It is just natural…The vision that we had laid out in 2004 was designed, at best, for a 10-year period. And it was pretty clear that the vision that we had laid out in 2004… by the time we arrived in 2010-11, it was already not working. Somewhere around 2012, and I will say this, a certain arrogance crept into the Congress party and they stopped having that conversation. Really, what has happened is that if you look at India from about 2012… and we are to blame for at least two to three years of that… India has basically lost its vision.

Rahul Gandhi answered a number of questions after his speech Twitter


Rahul Gandhi further said that the concept of non-violence is facing a threat in India.

Hatred, anger and violence and the politics of polarization has raised its ugly head in India today. Violence and hatred distract people from the task at hand. Liberal journalists being shot, people being lynched because they are Dalits, Muslims, killed on suspicion of eating beef, this is new in India and damages India very badly. The politics of hate divides and polarizes India, making millions of people feel that they have no future in their own country. In today’s connected world, this is extremely dangerous. It isolates people and makes them vulnerable to radical ideas.

Answering a question on the general perception that he was reluctant as a politician, Rahul Gandhi said,

There is a BJP machine… about a thousand guys sitting on computers… they basically tell you about me. They tell you I am reluctant, I am stupid… They tell you all these things… And all they do is spread abuse about me. And the operation is basically run by the gentleman who is running our country.

He also asserted that he fully supports any action that is taken against those carrying out violence and affirmed that he is completely in support of 1984 riots victims in their quest for justice.

The Twitter page of Congress shared a number of videos of Rahul Gandhi speaking at the University of California, Berkeley. These can be watched below:




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