On the 153rd birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi took a pledge to unite the country just like the Father of the Nation did against injustice.
Gandhi, who is leading the Bharat Jodo Yatra, also said that the constitutional rights and values, for which Bapu laid down his life, are under threat.
In a tweet in Hindi, Rahul Gandhi said, “Bapu taught us to walk on the path of truth and non-violence. He explained the meaning of love, compassion, harmony and humanity. Today on Gandhi Jayanti, we take a pledge that just as he united the country against injustice, we will unite our India.”
Rahul Gandhi paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at the Badanavalu Khadi Gramodyaga Kendra that he visited in 1927.
“We remember and pay our respects to that great son of India. Our remembering is made more poignant by the fact that we are on the 25th day of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, a padyatra in which we are walking his path of ahimsa, unity, equality and justice,” the Lok Sabha MP from Kerala’s Wayanad said.
“Just as Gandhiji fought the British Raj, we are today embarked on a battle with the very ideology that killed Gandhi. This ideology has delivered inequality, divisiveness and the erosion of our hard-won freedoms in the past eight years,” he said.
Against this politics of hinsa (violence) and asatya (lies), the Bharat Jodo Yatra will spread the message of Ahimsa (non-violence) and Swaraj from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, he said.
Explaining the many meanings of Swaraj, Rahul Gandhi said, “It is the freedom from fear and want that our farmers, youth and small and medium enterprises desire. It is the freedom of our states to exercise their constitutional freedoms and of our villages to practise Panchayati Raj.”
“It is also the conquest of the self, whether it is Bharat Yatris who are travelling 3,600 km by foot or the lakhs of citizens who are walking with us for shorter periods,” he said.
“The Yatra is the quiet and determined voice of the Indian people against the politics of fear, hatred and division. It might be convenient for those in power to appropriate Gandhiji’s legacy, but it is much more difficult to walk in his footsteps,” Rahul Gandhi added.
“Many of them (participants in the Yatra) believe that the values that Gandhiji gave his life for and our constitutional rights are under threat today. As we continue on our journey from Mysuru to Kashmir, I request my fellow citizens across India to walk with us in the spirit of Ahimsa and Sadbhavana,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi, and Congress president candidate Mallikarjun Kharge also paid floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat in Delhi.
The yatra entered Karnataka on Friday after covering over 480 km in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the last 25 days.