NEW DELHI: Ahead of the Congress’ planned protest against inflation, unemployment and a host of other issues, former party chief Rahul Gandhi lambasted the government, saying that India is witnessing the “death of democracy” and those standing up against the “onset of dictatorship” are being viciously attacked, arrested and jailed.
Addressing a press conference here at the party headquarters sporting a black band on his arms, Gandhi in an ironic vein asked, “How are you enjoying the onset of dictatorship in India and how do you feel about the death of democracy? Today, there is no democracy in India. It is a four-people dictatorship.”
Lamenting over the current state of affairs, the Congress Lok Sabha MP from Kerala’s Wayanad pointed out, “We want to raise the issue of inflation, unemployment and many other issues. We are not allowed to raise our voice outside or inside the Parliament. Debates are not allowed in the Parliament. We are arrested. This is the sorry situation in India today.”
He said that what we are witnessing is the “death of democracy”. “What India has built brick by brick, starting almost a century ago, is basically being destroyed in front of your eyes. All of you know it. The whole of India knows it. Anybody who stands up against this – the onset of dictatorship – doesn’t matter who he is, where he comes from, which state, which religion, male or female — is viciously attacked, put in jail, arrested or beaten up,” Gandhi rued.
To a question, he underlined, “All the institutions are completely supporting the government because it has made their people sit there.” “All the institutions have people of the RSS,” he alleged.
He also said that we are not fighting against the RSS but we are against the infrastructure. “We never controlled institutions,” he pointed out.
He also said, “Reality remains unchanged, but perception can be made or formed. They say startup India; show me where is startup India. They are firing people. The health minister will claim that India’s performance was best during the Covid-19 pandemic, but the UN has said five million people died.” He added that there is rampant inflation but the finance minister denies it.
To a question about BJP attacking him repeatedly, he said, “The more I tell the truth and raise the issues of people, the more I am attacked. My problem is that I speak the truth and I don’t fear. I will continue to raise issues of unemployment, inflation and communal harmony.”
“And the one who threatens, fears the most. They fear because of promises they made on inflation and unemployment. And this is why they are scared,” he said.
Citing the example of German dictator Adolf Hitler winning elections, he said, “Even Hitler used to win elections; he used to win because all the institutions were under his control. Give me all the infrastructure and institutions and I will show how elections are won.”
Gandhi said, “They (the BJP) attacks the Gandhi family because we have an ideology. We fight for people; we fight for communal harmony. My family laid down lives. It is our responsibility to fight for an ideology.”
“When India is divided, we feel pain. When someone is killed for being a Dalit, we feel pain,” he said. “This is not a family, it is an ideology,” he pointed out.