Excerpts: Rahul’s brilliant interaction - with Professor Ashutosh Varshney, faculty, and students...
Part 4 - Topic: Understanding Gandhiji, Swarajya, Shunyata, Giving up power.

This is an interesting exploration, explanation by Rahul. Many may not be aware of. So sharing it.
Q - Leela:
Mr Gandhi, the concept of Swaraj self-rule was of course a rallying cry for the Congress party in the early decades of the 20th century it was a slogan for independence from Imperial rule and as well as the source says, M K Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj.
It expressed a highly original, ethical, spiritual vision of Indian democracy in which simply the powerful give up the right to rule over, dominate, oppress, injure the powerless, therefore men or women, the Hindu majority over various religious minorities, the rich over poor.
Of course, the list is very long indeed. So my question is what does Swaraj mean if anything to Congress leadership in the 20th century and to you personally.

See, the idea of India if you look at how India was put together and modern India and the role of Gandhiji...
he was essentially in the conversation of the negotiation of power between these systems.

He took a very interesting position, was in a sense, it's an Indian philosophical tradition. I don't actually exist, I am dead, meaning I have no game in this conversation right.
So he in a sense became shunyata and then that conversation actually started.

Without that thing, without Gandhi’s attack on himself, India could not have structured, the negotiation would not have begun.

So the idea of India itself required an introspection into the self.
Frankly, if you want to keep India together you got to do that. If you don't do it, if there is no shunyata in the negotiation then it is not going to work. That is what Congress brings to the table.

Today, a group of 20 people, have taken a different view on Congress party.
Do you think they could exist in BJP, do you think they could exist in BSP, do you think they could exist in TMC?

No, they cannot exist in any other party except the Congress and the Congress says look we don’t agree with you but the negotiation cannot stop. It has to go on.
That is the nature of Congress. I see it. Of course, it has lost. The depth of Gandhi is not there. The understanding of Gandhi Nehru is not there.

But that comes with the force that you are fighting. Gandhi would not have been Gandhi without the force that he was fighting.
The above contents bring out the basic principles, philosophies on which the Congress organisation was built; Rahul finds the spirit within but acknowledges the loss of Gandhian ideals. It should go as a message to all Congresspersons.

Your comments, opinion are welcome.

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More from @ganesan312

30 Mar
Excerpts: Rahul’s brilliant interaction - with Prof. Ashutosh Varshney, faculty, students...

Part 5 -Topic: “Stop and look at yourself” Gandhiji.

It covers how Rahul looked at himself, the criticisms heaped on him by Modi/ BJP/ RSS; how their attack on his sense is a gift.
You said something really extraordinarily beautiful. But I think, this is you and ‘not necessarily the Congress party’. You have replaced the idea of Swaraj with the beautiful idea of shunyata and I want to know...

No no. You would be surprised, very very surprised.
There are hundreds and hundreds of Congress workers who had this idea. The problem is they are not in power. They are there.
I can tell you name after name after name who is sitting there, literally doing harakiri, right - political. He is eating himself.
Read 12 tweets
26 Mar
Excerpts: Rahul’s brilliant interaction - with Professor Ashutosh Varshney, faculty, and students...
Part 3 - Topic: electoral autocracy.

Here I am presenting the gist or essence of this conversation without diluting the spirit and beauty of its contents.
Two of the leading non-governmental agencies that rate or assess democratic health in the world the Freedom House and the V-Dem Institute in Sweden, both have downgraded Indian democracy. Freedom House calls India now ‘partly free’; V-Dem terms it as ‘Electoral autocracy’.
V-dem Institute following political science & its own research says that when democratic polities start attacking civil liberties, then civil society Institutions and then independent Institutions then the next step is typically an attack on the integrity of elections itself.
Read 12 tweets
25 Mar
This thread is another brief extract of Rahul’s online interactions with Professor Ashutosh Varshney, faculty, and students...

The contents are very valuable, important to reproduce and record in text format.
Such contents will help to educate people and perhaps many INCians.
Q: Assault on institutions -
Are you, in particular, referring to the Judiciary or some other independent institutions?


I am telling you every single institution. There is not a single institution that is not under this type of assault.
To give you some nuance, my mic is switched off in parliament. In the middle, while I am giving a speech it is switched off. So the essence of parliament is that I am allowed to speak, the essence of parliament is that when I am speaking the country can see what I am saying.
Read 10 tweets
24 Mar
This thread is a brief extract of Rahul’s online interactions with Professor Ashutosh Varshney, faculty, and students...

Rarely one comes across an impromptu, spontaneous interaction that contains such a brilliant, concise, unadulterated truth, full of sense and nothing else.
You argued ‘politics in India have become a fight for India not just a fight for power’.
Biden before elections in 2020 argued ‘it was not about a change in power in Washington it was about soul of America’.
Is your claim similar to Biden’s claim or substantially different?

To me, India is many different diverse viewpoints, many different languages, different cultures, different histories, different ideas. Modern India to me is essentially an ongoing negotiation between those ideas, those cultures.
Read 12 tweets
22 Mar
Rahul now draws his power not as a member of the ‘dynasty’ but from the family of Congress cadres, supporters and most of its leaders.

He is strong-willed; shouldering the cross and hope of all. He is taking the bull by its horns with emphatic, forceful, forthright views.
Rahul undertakes Townhall type interactions with diverse sections of people, Congress youth wing, apart from open intellectual discussions with eminent personalities, educationists, experts.

It is possible for him to elevate it to include party cadres, leaders. It is needed.
The direct channels for interactions, discussions with people and party cadres, leaders, supporters in an appropriate format including Townhall type will set the change in Congress.
His down to earth messages of truth earns respect of all.
Not many in politics can match Rahul.
Read 10 tweets
21 Mar
If one believes in Congress principles, policies and become its member then they should know that everyone is equal before the organisation to voice opinions, ideas and make contributions for its growth.
It does not become a right to demand power, position for their growth.
The basic human failings of egos, importance, aspirations, parity in power/ position do exist. But it raises to an ugly pitch due to organisational weaknesses, absence of active, failproof, impartial mechanisms for making decisions, solving disputes, enforcing disciplines.
The sad truth is that most of the Congress leaders are suffering from these failings. We cannot send everyone to a ‘correctional course’.
Congress is also to share the blame for not correcting its course when the deviations went unnoticed, uncorrected and nearly unmanageable.
Read 6 tweets

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