The Indian Constitution, for the first time in the history of the land, gave the same rights to all its inhabitants, and the Congress will protect it at all costs, party leader Rahul Gandhi said on November 26.
“The Constitution is a force, a voice, an inspiration. It is a living voice. The BJP wants to extinguish that voice, but it knows that it cannot reject it openly … They are trying to undermine it,” Mr. Gandhi said, addressing a party rally.
Mr. Gandhi said he took a detour from the route of his foot march, the Bharat Jodo Yatra, to address the rally to mark Constitution Day at the birthplace of B.R. Ambedkar, near Indore in Madhya Pradesh.
The Dalit leader served as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution. The Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949.
Mr. Gandhi said India’s founding leaders overcame fear and created a unifying vision for the country that his party implemented through various policies while in government.
“Those who fear cannot love and those who love cannot fear. Those who fear, hate, and those who hate, fear,” Mr. Gandhi said, recalling the personal tragedies of the loss of his grandmother Indira Gandhi and father Rajiv Gandhi to violence.
“I can tell you that I do not have an iota of hatred towards anyone. I do fight the politics of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, but I have no hatred for them. I do not fear, and the people who have joined me in this yatra also have overcome fear.”
Mr. Gandhi said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was infiltrating institutions, including the media, to advance its philosophy, and it paid lip service to Dr. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi. “No policy of the BJP government has helped the poor people of this country,” he said, citing demonetisation and GST as examples. The Congress leader said the Modi government was only enriching a handful of corporations, while small industries were struggling to stay afloat.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said the RSS and the BJP were weakening the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. “We will end up in slavery again if we don’t stand up to protect the Constitution,” he said.
“Participants in the rally took a pledge to protect the Constitution,” Mr. Kharge pointed out that by giving everyone the right to vote, the Indian Constitution promoted justice and development for all, but Dr. Ambedkar had warned of the dangers that the RSS-BJP poses today.
Mr. Gandhi’s yatra was to uphold the constitutional values of justice and harmony, said Kamal Nath, former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.