India witnessing four years of intolerance, says Rahul Gandhi in UAE

Congress President Rahul Gandhi addressing a huge gathering of non-resident Indians at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on January 11, 2019.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi addressing a huge gathering of non-resident Indians at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on January 11, 2019.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi today called upon non-resident Indians (NRIs) and Indians everywhere to help India, all its people and all its states, regions, religions and communities, to come together again, stressing that the country could never be strong if it is divided.
Addressing a huge gathering of non-resident Indians at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium here in the this evening, on the first day of a two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), he asked, "How can a country that is divided be successful?"
He noted that while the UAE was celebrating the Year of Tolerance this year, it was sad that India had been going through "four and a half years of intolerance".
He said NRIs were a big asset to their countries of residence and had played significant roles in their development.
"When I drive through UAE, I see your energy, blood and sweat. You have helped build this nation, and I feel proud that you have played your part with dignity, togetherness and tolerance," he said.
He said NRIs had also played an important role in helping to make India what it is today. "Without your help, without the help of NRIs, it would be impossible for India to be where it is today," he said.
He said NRIs, starting with Mahatma Gandhi, had played a great role in building India and mentioned well-known NRIs such as the late Verghese Kurien, who helped usher in the White Revolution and made India the largest milk producer in the world, and Sam Pitroda, who led the telecom revolution in India. Pitroda, the president of the Indian Overseas Congress, was present on stage at the event.
"What you have done in the UAE, the United States, in Europe, elsewhere, we want you to help us do back that back home. I want a commitment from you, that you will stand with us and help us to solve the most pressing problems facing India," he said.
Gandhi said emplyment was the single biggest problem facing India. He said millions of people in India were devastated by the November 8, 2016 demonetisation and did not have any employment today.
"The first problem we have to take head-on,on the front foot, is unemployment," he said.
He said the agrarian crisis was the second problem which needed to be tackled. "Our farmers are in deep trouble. They are struggling and can't see a future for themselves," he said, adding that there was a need for a second green revolution in India.
Gandhi said the Congress would make efforts to reach out to non-resident Indians (NRIs) and understand their concerns so that solutions to them could be reflected them in the party's manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He said the Congress was committed to ensuring representation for NRIs in the Indian political system. "We will make sure that your voice will be heard in India," he said.
The Congress President said the last five years made him sad because of the intolerance witnessed in India. He said tolerance meant that one had to listen to other people and embrace them, their ideas, irrespective of differences in thinking, religion, community and so on.
"Tolerance is not possible without humility, it is not possible with arrogance. We can never run a country like India believing that only one idea is correct and all other are wrong. Today, my beloved country India is being divided for political reasons," he said.
"Every Indian has a responsibility to help bring the country together again," he said.
"There is a lot of work to be done. You have shown what can be done in areas like urbanisation, transportation and so on. We have to solve problems like unemployment, the farm crisis," he said.
He told the NRIs that his doors, ears and heart would always be open for them and they could approach him at any time if they had any problems.
To a question from a member of the audience, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, he said his party, if voted to power would ensure special status for the state.
"We are facing an electoral battle in 2019. I can tell you with utmost confidence that we are going to win that battle and bring India together again," he added.

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