Addressing a convention of NRIs in Bahrain, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that there are 'serious problems' looming back at home, and that the Indian diaspora is much needed at this hour.
"I am here to tell you what you mean to your country, you are important, to tell you that there is a serious problem at home, and to tell you are part of the solution," Rahul said.
He is at a two-day visit to Bahrain, his first foreign trip after becoming the Congress chief. Rahul is expected to come back to New Delhi on Tuesday.
Emphasizing the importance of the Indians living abroad for the nation, he said, "Your tolerance, your patriotism is what India needs today. You have lived with people of different nationalities and you have done so by learning from them and teaching them about some of Indian culture in return." Rahul also said that the Indian diaspora was sending a huge amount of remittance back home, which was a great contributing factor to the nation's growth.
He also said, "All the great leaders of India, whether it was Mahatma Gandhi or BR Ambedkar, they were once NRI's.... It is important for all human beings to know where they come from."
The Congress president further said, "India's main problem today is the failure of our government to create jobs. Job creation in India is at an 8 year low. Many in the Indian diaspora have lost hard-earned money because of arbitrary decisions like demonetisation. India simply cannot afford this."
He said that to top it all the government was in denial. "Tragedy is, instead of focusing the attention of our people towards real issues, there's an increase in hatred. Instead of accepting that we are struggling to create jobs, instead of uniting people of all religions and communities together to face the challenge, the government is busy converting the fear being generated in jobless youth into hatred between communities," Rahul said.
He said that India has become a nation where journalists are shot at for reporting the truth, judges hearing crucial cases are found dead under mysterious circumstances. He said that the rising forces of hatred needed to be curtailed.
"We need you to help us fight these forces. We need you just as we needed you in 1947 to defeat the British forces," Rahul added.
Responding to a question from the audience, Rahul also pin-pointed three key policy sectors he would focus on, if he was in power. He said that job creation will top his priority as India is the second most populous nation and there is rising discontent in the youth about the limited opportunities they get. Secondly, he said he would like to focus on the state and quality of Indian education system, as he felt that only the top layer of educational institutes provided quality education. Rahul also said that he would like to focus upon building a healthcare infrastructure so that the Indian people could access quality healthcare services at an affordable price.
He also spoke of a 'new, shining and transformed' Congress party, while interacting to the audience as he appeared confident of a Congress win in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Interacting with the audience, Rahul said, "Gujarat BJP ka gadh hai aur wahan bhi sirf bach ke nikli hai BJP (Gujarat is a BJP bastion and there too they could just save power." He said that he has always believed that he was only human and not only has he learnt from the party's mistakes but his own as he promised to deliver a "new, shining and transformed" Congress party, which he said will show how forces like BJP can be defeated.
"We are a very powerful party. We have defeated the British, we have laid the foundation of modern India and made sure it stands on its feet. This is surely no small feat... We have experience and we have youth. And come next elections, we will show you how the BJP is defeated," Rahul said.
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Updated Date: Jan 09, 2018 06:16:15 IST