Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on the second day of the Kerala leg of the Bharat Jodo Yatra on Monday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said elections could be won with hatred, violence, and anger, but the country cannot achieve anything without a spirit of harmony.
"This BJP has proved that you cannot solve the employment problem or address high prices with arrogance and hatred. You have to accept first as a leader that wisdom lies with the people of India. Once you understand that, the next step has to be to listen and understand what they are saying. That is also the spirit of this Bharat Jodo Yatra that the Congress party has undertaken," he said.
Addressing a large crowd at a public meeting at Kazhakuttam in the capital, Mr. Gandhi said the atmosphere of fear and anger in the country was being generated by an ideology that was diametrically opposite to the spirit of Kerala and its great social reformers, including Sree Narayana Guru.
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“There is a message that you can give to the rest of the country. You can show the rest of the country what it means to work together in harmony. Most of you who live here take the spirit of Kerala for granted and believe that just because it exists here, it exists everywhere. This is the most valuable thing that you have. Every single person in this country is an Indian and if anybody is hating another Indian, he is hating the idea of India itself,” he said.
The former Congress chief said conversation in India had been silenced, with the media saying exactly what the government wanted to say. The institutions had been taken over and captured.
“It is not the fault of the Press who follow us around. It is due to the pressure that their owners are under. We understand that they are scared to say what the truth is. That is why the yatra’s aim is to listen to the people of India and to develop a vision for the people from that conversation. It will be a vision that is rooted in your tradition, in the ideas of your great leaders and in the past, but not stuck in the past. It will be something that looks towards the future and thinks about what a prosperous India will look like,” said Mr. Gandhi.
During the day, Mr. Gandhi and the core group of national yatra volunteers covered close to 25 km through the heart of Thiruvananthapuram city. Senior Congress leaders, including Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president K.Sudhakaran, general secretary (Organisation) K.C. Venugopal, Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan, Ramesh Chennithala, MLA, Shashi Tharoor, K. Muraleedharan, MPs, and others were part of the yatra for a considerable distance.