When you are intolerant, you curb the movement of ideas: Rahul Gandhi takes on RSS, BJP in Mumbai B-school - Firstpost
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When you are intolerant, you curb the movement of ideas: Rahul Gandhi takes on RSS, BJP in Mumbai B-school

#BJP   #Intolerance   #Mumbai   #NDA   #NREGA   #Rahul Gandhi   #RSS   #TheySaidIt   #UPA  


Mumbai: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for what he termed as their "rigid thinking" which hampers creativity and start-ups in the country.

Interacting with B-school students of the prestigious Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) in Mumbai, Gandhi said the BJP-RSS have "a clear idea of what the world should be" according to their viewpoint.

Rahul Gandhi in a file photo. Naresh Sharma/Firstpost

Rahul Gandhi in a file photo. Naresh Sharma/Firstpost

"When you are intolerant, you curb the movement of ideas... India needs openness, flexibility... You can't have start-ups and be intolerant at the same time," Gandhi said.

Citing examples, he said the Congress party brought and encouraged a culture of tolerance in the country, people were free to discuss ideas which ultimately culminated in the freedom movement.

Clad in casual jeans and tee-shirt, Gandhi urged the students not to put "labels on people, industry or things, as labels are human inventions" and stifle growth.

Hitting out at the ruling BJP-led NDA's policies, the Congress leader said India is essentially an agrarian economy, but the present government was not doing enough for the farmers.

"We have been a traditional agri-economy, but we have made a smooth transition from agri to IT and knowledge economy now. A few years ago, we had launched National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), it was strongly resisted, but now it contributes in a large measure to the nine percent growth as it was injecting cash into rural economy and it built a rural infrastructure," Gandhi pointed out.

Though Indian farms are now divided and not capable of sustaining families, he said agriculture was not a problem for the farmers, but for the businessmen, industrialists, etc.

"The UPA had strategy of supporting farmers, but the present government has a different focus which is not on farmers or agriculture... They tried to stop NREGA and other UPA policies, but we put pressure on them," he said.

Replying to a question on China, Gandhi said the Asian Communist giant is more powerful and economically stronger, but it grabs and pulls you as it is a centralised economy.

On the other hand, India's power is never about the military, but about ideas with which we make the other person turn around to our perspective -- "India grabs you, but you never feel it."

But, he said for all its growth, now at 11 percent, China paid a price with many people dying, but not in India with a 9 percent growth -- "We are a soft power... and not a threat to the world."

To a query on the start-up hype, Gandhi said any start-up requires a whole support system to allow an entrepreneur to grow, with access to finance, freedom from government regulations, infrastructure, etc.

"That's why it's considered easier to launch start-ups in states like Maharashtra or Karnataka, but businesses face a huge problem in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar, though some of the most entrepreneurial people come from there," Gandhi said.

IANS

First Published On : Jan 16, 2016 13:00 IST

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