Kerala

Politics based on principles possible, Rahul tells students

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with students during his visit to St. Theresa’s College in Kochi on Monday.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with students during his visit to St. Theresa’s College in Kochi on Monday.

Is Congress party in a crisis, is how bluntly a young student of St. Teresa’s College chose to put it to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday.

Mr. Gandhi, who was at the city college for an interaction with the students during the course of his election campaign tour, on his part, wasn’t flummoxed but put up a brave face while explaining what has gone wrong with his party without ever conceding it as a ‘crisis’.

“Congress is designed differently from other political parties. The party thrives on constant conversation with different castes, communities, religions, and ideas. It is in our DNA. That conversation has broken down nationally and everyone is looking after their own interests. We have to revive that conversation. It is difficult time but a hopeful time for rebuilding, repositioning, rethinking, and coming up with new ideas,” said Mr. Gandhi strolling across a red-carpeted ramp stretching deep into the assembly of students.

When another student asked for a way to rein in fuel price, he had a rather simplistic solution, “vote out the government.” “The government has no money to run the governance and are forcibly taking money from the people,” Mr. Gandhi said

When asked about the lopsided budget for defence in comparison to development, he said that efficient and intelligent policies, strategic balancing and playing to one’s strength would help rationalise defence spending. “Our strength has always been our diversity and embracing different ideas. That remains forgotten,” Mr. Gandhi lamented.

He said that it is indeed possible to pursue politics based on principles. “I insist on politics based on principles and would not do it any other way. I know there will be cost to pay for it, which I am willing to bear,” Mr. Gandhi said.

He adopted a philosophical line when a student wanted to know how he retains optimism in the face of so much negativity. “The darkest point is always followed by light. One will have to learn life’s lessons during tough times as it will inevitably pass and will be followed by better times.”

When a student requested Mr. Gandhi, who is trained in Japanese martial art Aikido, for a self-defence tip, he put up a demonstration involving a few excited students on how to resist an assault, which he said was also a lesson in women empowerment.

“The society in India is going to kick you, insult you and stop you from pursuing your interests. You got to understand where that push is coming from and position accordingly. Power is situational and you will have to realise how that power is applied and take control,” said Mr. Gandhi.


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Printable version | Sep 26, 2022 8:16:07 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/politics-based-on-principles-possible-rahul-tells-students/article34134427.ece