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.
It is the opposite of the RSS. You said Gandhiji came out with a new idea. It is not a new idea. It is a very old idea in India.

It is a regurgitation of some of those ideas but and in ‘hind swaraj’ what he is saying is that Western civilization is not looking into itself.
It refuses to look into itself and the Indian civilization has the capacity every now and then to look into itself very deeply.

(Q: To give up power…)
You might give up power, but you might not. Gandhi did not. If you take a blunt view of power. you can say Gandhi gave up.
But if you take a sophisticated view of power, Gandhi used his part to give us the constitution.
Power is not simply to become an MLA or MP. This is a gross misunderstanding. Power is the ability to influence.
Are you telling me Gandhiji give up the ability to influence?
He is still influencing. He is influencing me. But the essence of Swaraj which I think any modern vision of India has to have.

My biggest problem with BJP, RSS, PM is that they have no capacity to look inside themselves, cracking the negotiation between domestic forces.
I am very happy with you because you attack my sense of self every morning.
I love it because it gives me a very strange thing.
Q: Spiritual gifts.

Yeah. I just thank my God. This is amazing.
When you are facing a political force, people do not understand. They are attacking me. They are helping me refine; helping me to understand.

I could not have had this conversation I am having with you today, 10 years ago.
Who did it? The BJP, RSS did it. So thank you.
But just to conclude what Gandhiji was saying to everybody.

Stop and look at what you are doing.
When you just stop 30 seconds and just ask yourself ‘What I'm doing. Is this correct?’
What he was saying to Indians when they faced the British is, you are enslaved not because the British are powerful but because you are refusing to look at yourself and that is all he taught us.
The above contents include Gandhiji’s ideas, Rahul’s views, interpretations; indicate the direction in which Rahul, Congress is going.

It is for Congress cadres, supporters, leaders to understand, follow, spread, propagate among people.

Your comments, opinion are welcome.

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More from @ganesan312

31 Mar
Missed target

Modi thought his Bangladesh visit would help the BJP in Bengal. But every action has multiple effects in politics.

BJP had made ‘illegal infiltration’ a big issue in Assam. Shah built his entire campaign attacking AIUDF leader Ajmal for supporting infiltrators.
Modi’s sweet talk in Dhaka blunted the edge of Shah’s emotive plank. His attacks on Ajmal sounded hollow as AIUDF leader tweeted and wished Modi a pleasant stay in Bangladesh; requested him to discuss the deportation of illegal immigrants, border sealing to stop infiltration.
Modi has not raised these issues. Congress was uncomfortable with Shah’s focus on AIUDF, now feels Shah’s blusters on Ajmal sound like a joke.

BJP’s 8-phase polling for Bengal also helped Congress as it could delink Kerala allowing Rahul to enter Bengal later. It thanks BJP.
Read 12 tweets
29 Mar
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.
Read 10 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

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