Rahul Gandhi says “I don’t care if I’m killed someday like my grandmother, father”
Churu (Rajasthan) – Recalling the assassinations of his grandmother Indira Gandhi and his father Rajiv Gandhi, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday targetted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for playing divisive politics, and said he was not afraid if communal anger and hatred killed him someday.
“They (communal elements) have killed my grandmother, they have killed my father and maybe someday they will kill me as well. But I don’t care,” Gandhi said.
Speaking at a rally here today, an emotionally charged Rahul Gandhi recalled the pain he felt during the assassination of his grandmother, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and said that he had to go through the same feeling when his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in 1991.
Rahul Gandhi was cheered on repeatedly by the audience during the address, who seemed to understand the impact of assassination of Indira Gandhi on a teen-aged young grandson in the family.
Further, the Congress vice president explained that the reason he spoke strongly against the BJP’s method of politics was because his own experience made him understand the extreme consequences of hatred and anger.
“I speak against the BJP orchestrated divisive and communal politics. But, I have never told you why I speak so strongly against them. Today, I will tell you that. …The pain that I felt that day, I have only felt on one other occasion when my father was killed. But, only I know the pain that I went through when my grandmother was killed. I understand that pain. It was like someone ripped your chest,” Gandhi said while describing the day of 31 October, 1984, when Indira Gandhi was assassinated.
“”My security officer told me my grandmother had been shot. My legs were trembling. Priyanka and I were taken home and on the road there was grandmother’s blood and in a room there was blood on my friends,” he added.
While describing the pain he felt at Indira Gandhi’s assassination, the Congress vice president admitted that at that time he could not understand the politics behind his grandmother’s killing.
“For many years, there was a lot of anger inside me regarding Beant Singh and Satwant Singh, who were my friends earlier. Whenever someone said something even a little objectionable to me, I couldn’t take it. I would walk around with that anger and use it in ways that I didn’t know. It took me 10-15 years to understand my anger,” Gandhi said.
“In 1984, I was in the garden and I met Beant Singh and Satwant Singh, who asked me where does my grandmother slept, and if her security was adequate. They told me that if somebody throws a grenade at me, I should lie down. At that time I did not understand what he meant. Years later I understood that Satwant Singh and Beant Singh intended to throw a grenade at her during Diwali,” Gandhi recalled.
Linking his personal pain to his objection to the BJP’s indulgence in communal politics, Gandhi said that people don’t inherently have anger inside them, but political parties put it inside them.
“Political parties put anger into the people. It is the common man who suffers—who has to take this anger with them. That is why I am against BJP’s method of politics. For political benefit, the BJP harms people,” he said.
“It takes years for anger to calm down. It takes only one minute for anger to ignite,” he added.
Narrating his visit to Muzaffarnagar after the communal riots, the Congress vice president said that he connected with the victims because he saw the same pain, anguish and wrongdoing that he witnessed at the time of his grandmother and father’s assassination.
“I went to Muzaffarnagar and met Hindus and Muslims, after the riots. In them, I saw my story. In their pain, I saw my face. That is why I am so against communal politics. That is why I want India to stay united, that is why I want us to be one,” he said.
“The BJP will go to Muzaffarnagar and ignite a fire. The BJP will go to Gujarat and Kashmir and start a fire. It is you and me who have to calm the fire. It is us who have to go to their homes, it is us who cool them down. The country doesn’t benefit from this,” he added.
The Congress vice president also spoke of the future of the country and called for a partnership between the wealthy and the poor in the industrial sector for the country to move forward.
Gandhi also called for a greater participation of the people in the democratic functioning of the country.
“The biggest deficit facing this country is that the political system is run by 300 to 500 people. I want that this political system is run by lakhs of people,” Gandhi said.
AICC General Secretary and party in-charge Gurudas Kamat and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot were also present during the rally.
The assembly polls in Rajasthan are scheduled for December 1.
Rajasthan is expected to witness a fierce political battle between the Congress and the BJP in the upcoming polls.