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From inciting Dalits to take up violence to questioning the existence of Lord Ram: 5 things Rahul Gandhi spoke at book launch event

Rahul Gandhi, who is known for peppering his speeches with hyperbole and misinformation, on Saturday made a series of unsubstantiated and inexplicable claims during a book launch event.

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is often known for peppering his speeches with misinformation and hyperbole, made a series of inexplicable claims on Saturday during his speech on the occasion of the book launch ‘The Dalit Truth: The Battles For Realizing Ambedkar’s Vision’.

From questioning the existence of Lord Ram to quoting freedom fighter Veer Savarkar out of context to making unsubstantiated claims of approaching Mayawati for an alliance and to fabricating a story of alleged atrocities against Dalit and then exhorting them to use violence to exact revenge against their perpetrators, the Gandhi scion co-opted the event to peddle anti-BJP, anti-RSS rhetorics all the while claiming that he is not interested in seeking power like other politicians.

Rahul Gandhi cites an unfounded story to incite Dalits into taking up violence

While speaking at the event, Gandhi asked Dalits to resort to violence to exact revenge for atrocities allegedly committed against them. Making a reference to alleged Dalits who attempted to commit suicide after an incident in Una, Gandhi said had he been in their place, he would have first stabbed his tormentor and then committed suicide.

The stabbing remark refers to an incident to which Rahul Gandhi alluded in his speech. He was referring to the Una incident in Gujrat, in which several Dalit youngsters were reportedly beaten up by a mob. He told a story about visiting the victims’ families and learning that several other Dalit youngsters tried suicide in protest of the assault.

Rahul Gandhi claimed in a conversation with one of the survivors that if he were in such a position and his sister was assaulted by a gang of people, he would first murder them by stabbing them and then kill himself. “It came to my mind that if my sister was assaulted and beaten like a dog, I would’ve stabbed the perpetrators before committing suicide,” he added.

Rahul Gandhi went on to add that he advised the survivor why he had not killed the person who assaulted his brother, given he knew the identity of the perpetrator and had access to a knife. He claimed that in response to his question, the boy replied, “I cannot kill him because if I kill him, I’ll be reborn as a Dalit.”

Not interested in seeking power, my interest is in understanding the country: Rahul Gandhi

In a bid to paint himself as an altruist politician who had little interest in carrying on his political legacy, the former Congress president asserted that even though he was born smack in the middle of the country’s politics, he was not interested in pursuing it.

Instead, he said, it was understanding the country that motivated him. Gandhi said every night when he goes to sleep, he tries to understand the country.

“I have no interest in politics. When I sleep at night, I try to understand the country. When I wake up in the morning, I try to understand my country…just like how a lover tries to understand the person he loves,” Gandhi said.

Had approached Mayawati for an alliance and offered her the CM post but she did not respond because of ED, Pegasus, CBI

Rahul Gandhi further claimed that the Congress party had approached BSP chief Mayawati for a possible alliance before the UP assembly elections and offered her the CM post but got no response from her because of ED, Pegasus, CBI etc.

“We had approached Mayawati for an alliance, even offered the CM post but got no response from her because of ED, Pegasus, CBI…the tools which are used to control political systems,” Gandhi said.

While Gandhi insinuated that a political alliance with Mayawati did not come to fruition because of central agencies such as ED, and CBI, it is worth noting that Congress managed to get only a 2.3 per cent vote share and lost 97 per cent of deposits in seats contested. It contested 399 seats and won only two seats.

Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) lost the deposit in 290 of the 403 seats it fought for. It managed to win only 1 seat out of more than 400 seats that were up for grabs in the assembly elections. Both, the Congress party and BSP were swept in the tsunami wave of Yogi Adityanath, who returned to power with a thumping majority as the BJP won 255 seats, well above the majority mark of 202 seats needed to form the government.

Gandhi quotes Savarkar without providing context

In his speech, the Gandhi scion also quoted Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar, albeit out of context, to whip up anti-government sentiments among the Dalits.

“Savarkar said in his book that I was happiest the day when I and my friends went and beat up a Muslim boy,” Gandhi said. However, he conveniently chose to gloss over the pretext that Savarkar reportedly made the comments in the wake of communal riots that led to the deaths of Hindus.

However, in his bid to demonise Savarkar, and by extension the political ideology he stood for, i.e Hindutva, Gandhi cunningly missed out on providing the context that Savarkar’s satisfaction came after communal riots had resulted in the deaths of Hindus.

What Rahul Gandhi also chooses to leave out is that India’s former PM, Indira Gandhi, had glowing words for the veteran freedom fighter. Historian Vikram Sampath in his book ‘Savarkar: A Contested Legacy’ quotes Indira Gandhi as writing: “Veer Savarkar’s daring defiance of the British Government has its own importance in the annals of our freedom movement.” Mrs Gandhi also made a personal contribution of Rs 11,000 to a memorial fund in Veer Savarkar’s name. In May 1970, Indira Gandhi’s government had also released a postal stamp honouring the freedom fighter on his birth anniversary on 28 May 1970.

Rahul Gandhi questions the existence of Lord Ram

Gandhi also questioned the existence of Lord Ram, something which has been raised by Congress every now and then. Talking about a supposed encounter he had with a BJP leader he met in the Parliament, whom he would not name, Gandhi said, ” I asked the BJP leader does he believes in the concept of rebirth. When he said no, I asked him how does he believe in Lord Ram then.”

While there is no way to verify what Gandhi said was indeed true or a part of the fabrications that he routinely comes up with to reinforce his agenda, it is noteworthy to mention that Congress and its leaders have often raised questions on the existence of Lord Ram.

In August 2020, Congress leader Kumar Ketkar denied the historical existence of Shri Ram and cast aspersions about the Hindu God being a creation of literature. In a display of sheer ignorance, the Congress leader while speaking on a news channel said, “Ram exists because of Ramayan. However, a conclusion is yet to be reached on whether Ram is the creation of history or literature. Valmiki wrote a great epic and its impact was felt both in India and abroad. But, I don’t know if He existed in history.”

In 2007, an affidavit filed by the Congress-led government read, “Valmiki Ramayana and Ramcharitmanas admittedly form an important part of ancient Indian literature, but these cannot be said to be historical records to incontrovertibly prove the existence of the characters and occurrences of events depicted therein.” The affidavit was filed to register the UPA government’s opposition to the demand to scrap the Sethusamudram project as it would damage the Ram Setu.

Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal fought the Ram Janmabhoomi case for the Sunni Waqf Board opposing the building of a magnificent Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya. He also employed dilatory tactics and asked the apex court to delay the decision in the Ram Janmabhoomi case till the 2019 elections.  Another eminent Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had earlier claimed that no ‘good Hindu’ would want a Ram Mandir at the Babri site. Tharoor urged that one should have the Ram Mandir in one’s heart. 

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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