Rahul Gandhi US visit: Congress leader enthrals California audience; takes jibe at PM Modi

Ritu Jha-

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s visit drew people from different parts of the US to the Mohabbat ki Dukaan’ event held at the Marriot in Santa Clara, California, May 30, with hopes and aspirations that Gandhi and Congress return to power in 2024.

Gandhi, who landed on May 30 in California, spoke at UC Santa Cruz’s Silicon Valley campus in Santa Clara, Calif., which was organized by the UC Santa Cruz Center for South Asian Studies, where Gandhi shared his views on the Bharat Jodo Yatra and the general election in India next year.

The Mohabbat ki Dukaan’ attendees — both long-time and new Congress supporters — were seen shouting a loud slogan often, “Jodo, Jodo, Bharat Jodo.” When indica asked a volunteer the reason for this slogan, he said he believes India lacks the unity it was known for, and only Congress can bring back that inclusiveness.

ALSO READ: Rahul Gandhi in US: ‘India is like an ocean facing a storm, but the storm is going to pass’

Mohinder Singh Gilzian, president, Indian Overseas Congress (IOC), USA told indica: “Bharat Jodo Yatra opened doors for the 2024 parliamentary elections of India. We are confident of forming the government, and Rahul Gandhi becoming the prime minister. What happened in the Karnataka assembly elections was just the beginning.”

He said despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigning there extensively, BJP lost. “Karnataka has sent a message to the whole country — No More Modi. He does not stand for good governance; he is just a talker and a divisive element.”

Another supporter, Gurpreet Singh Sabi, who flew from Indianapolis, told indica, “This is a resurgence of hope. The visit of Rahul Gandhi has filled the people with enthusiasm and hope. Look at the huge crowd that has gathered to greet and meet him in Silicon Valley. The main aspect of Congress that appeals to us is that it is secular. It has an inclusive approach. Whatever progress we have seen in India, has been given by Congress. BJP is focusing only on propaganda. We want a good government to come to power in India.”

Saab Bhullar, the Los Angeles based West Coast State president of IOC USA said, “The momentum is high and we want a real path, not a divided one. The Bharat Jodo Yatra helped immensely to understand that the people are fed up with this intolerant, caste-based approach that is now prevalent in India. The common people don’t hate each other, but BJP is making them hate each other. I have neighbors, college friends, who are Hindus and Muslims, who are living harmoniously.”

Jhansi Reddy welcomes Congress leader Rahul Gandhi

Jhansi Reddy, founder, Women Empowerment Telugu Association asked Gandhi on women reservation Bill and in return Gandhi said it did not go through earlier but if he comes to power will definitely work on it.

Reddy who did ‘tilak and aatri’ of Gandhi (see left), told indica, “Women’s safety should be taught in schools, on how to protect themselves before calling an emergency number.”

She added. “Indira Gandhi is my role model and I have always admired her. When she was in power, I was a small kid, but I always used to consider her as my idol. I really liked the way that she conducted herself in politics. Being a woman in those days was not easy, but she conquered that. That exemplifies that woman’s power.”

Gandhi also reiterated his slogan ‘Nafrat ki bazaar mein mohabbat ki dukaan kholi’ (‘Opened a shop of love in the market of hatred). Gandhi asserted that the Bharat Jodo Yatra was not about knitting the geographical area that India covers. “Bharat Jodo Yatra should be in your hearts.”

He said, “If one studies history, it can be seen that all spiritual leaders — including Guru Nanak Dev ji, Guru Basavanna ji, Narayana Guru ji — united the nation in a similar way,” he said.

“Leaders like Guru Nanak Ji, Basavanna ji, Gandhi ji emphasized not to be under the impression that you understand everything. That the world is too big, too complicated for any one person to think that he understands everything and he knows everything,” he said.

Terming it a disease, Gandhi said: “That is the disease… that we have a group of people in India who are absolutely convinced that they know everything. In fact, I think maybe they think they even know more than God. They can sit down and have a conversation and explain to him, you know, about what is going on. And of course, our prime minister is one such specimen.”

“I think if you sat Modiji down next to God, Modiji would start explaining to God how the universe works. And God would get confused that what have I created,” Gandhi said evoking laughter from the audience.

He said this sounds funny but there are some people in India who can explain “science to the scientists, history to the historians, warfare to the Army, flying to the Air Force”. “And at the heart of it is mediocrity, that they actually don’t understand anything,” he added.

Related posts