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Rahul Gandhi now says India is not a nation like UK, but a political arrangement like European Union

While he is correct that Indian Constitution's preamble does describe it as 'union of states' it does not mean that India as a nation is not described in it. There are multiple times India has been described as a nation in the Constitution.

On May 23 (local time), Congress leader Rahul Gandhi once claimed India is not a nation. Speaking to The Print columnist Shruti Kapila, Gandhi said India’ is more like a union of states likes European Union and not a nation like Britain.

Gandhi claimed India has been described as a union of states in the constitution. He said, “The exact line is ‘India, that is Bharat, is a union of states’. And the implication of that is there is an ongoing negotiation between this union of states. In the Congress party, we see India as a negotiation between its people. The RSS views India as a geographical entity. That’s the big difference.”

While he is correct that Indian Constitution’s preamble does describe it as ‘union of states’ it does not mean that India as a nation is not described in it. There are multiple times India has been described as a nation in the Constitution. India is a nation, one single country while European Union is a union of various countries.

Later in the interview, Kapila tried to imply that the ‘idea of India’ was different from the other large democracies like Britain or America as those countries have a two-party system. But in India, there always had been one national party and many regional parties. She said, “That was the story of the Congress, and now do you think it’s the change of hands or something else is going on?”

Replying to the question, Gandhi emphasized India being a union of states and not a nation. He said, “It is a wrong characterization. If you view India as a union of states, tell me which state has more than two parties. Tamil Nadu has two parties. UP broadly has two parties. Madhya Pradesh has two parties. Rajasthan has two parties.”

He further added, “In our system, if you are going to compare the United Kingdom. Think of India much more like Europe than you think of England. India is much closer to Europe than it is to England. It’s much more accurate to think of India as Europe and think of a Europe that is politically and economically united. That is what India achieved 70 years ago. By the way, Europe has not achieved that. What was achieved 70 years ago was a powerful unique thing. But it requires a conversation between these states. Now where the question of BJP and Congress comes in. The national party is the party that stitches up the conversation. So actually, I don’t see it as a real challenge to the Congress party. I see it as a huge opportunity for the congress party reacts to it properly.”

Rahul Gandhi’s theory of the ‘union of states’

For the past few months, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been sharing his thought on the ‘idea of India’ by defining it as a union of states and not as a nation. Rahul Gandhi had described that India is not described as a nation in our constitution, but like India, that is Bharat, it is a union of states. Rahul Gandhi also claimed that the design that was developed by Mahatma Gandhi, which emerged from the freedom movement, was a negotiation between the states, identities and religions, and all these states got together and created a negotiated peace.

He has been refuted several times but continues to say the same story again and again. Interestingly, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy had tweeted over the matter and schooled him on how he was trying to change what BR Ambedkar had said in one of his statements about the structure of India.

In his tweets, the Union Minister laid out the discussion in the Constituent Assembly debates and the statement made by Dr BR Ambedkar on November 4 1948. He cited a statement made by Dr Ambedkar on November 4, 1948, where he had touched on various topics that included the special features of the constitution, the criticism of Fundamental Rights and the objection to the description of India in Article 1 of the Draft Constitution as a Union of States.

The Union Minister quoted the statement made by Babasaheb Ambedkar on this topic, saying, “The Drafting Committee wanted to make it clear that though India was to be a federation, the Federation was not the result of an agreement by the States to join in a Federation”.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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