NEW YORK (TIP): ‘Since most of the Diaspora in U.S. shares the ideology, values and principles of the Congress Party, let us recognize the fact that we have a common enemy; it is the right wing, communal and fascist organization called Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). It is an ideological battle and India will not remain what it is, as a great country, if we have these forces of right wing communalism get stronger’. said Anand Sharma, the deputy opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha and the spokesperson for the Congress party.
Sharma was addressing the leadership of the Indian National Overseas Congress (INOC, USA) at a private meeting held at the United Nations. He was in New York to attend a conference organized by the Socialist International Council at the United Nations.
Conceding that Congress may have lost the propaganda war during the last election cycle, he has vowed that the Party will work with the leaders of the INOC to attract young people to its fold and to create a counter narrative to BJP’s massive propaganda effort. Stating that it will take wisdom, maturity and sacrifice, he exhorted the INOC leadership to help the party to get better connected with the Diaspora. He further encouraged INOC to focus on attracting the youth to its fold in order to promote a stronger India based on the values and principles that Congress party upholds.
‘In India today, the communal forces are busy attacking and changing the Educational System; they have infected and infiltrated in all the research organizations including historical ones; they have said so that they would rewrite history because they have no contribution to history. They are targeting Nehru because Nehru symbolizes what today’s India is! If we are a democracy the credit goes to Nehru and Gandhi. If you read about the constituent Assembly, the statement of objects came from Nehru. It was Nehru who made B.R. Ambedkar the chairman of the Drafting Committee of the constituent Assembly after asking another congress member to resign in order to make room for him. If you read the seven volumes of the constituent assembly debates, each and every issue was discussed as to what India will be. Nehru was rightly the builder of the modern India and one of the most respected leaders of the world. Yesterday, at the meeting of the Socialist International, when I was called to speak, I was introduced as representing the largest democracy and oldest party and the party of Nehru. We were indeed reminded of Nehru’s participation of Socialist International conference in 1928 in Brussels that came together to fight imperialism and oppression around the world’ Mr. Sharma continued.
According to the Congress leader, on the economic front, Congress has always followed a policy of equity, justice and inclusive development. It has brought 140 million people out of poverty during UPA I and UPA II. Despite the economic crisis in the world, the average growth rate during that time was 7.6-7.9%; increased exports in 2004 from 154 billion dollars to 320 billion dollars. ‘They (BJP govt.) have not been able to sustain even that! he added. India’s national income tripled from Rs. 24,000 to Rs. 70,000 per capita. We gave a legal right to education, food security and MGNREGA. It was a Government of pro-poor that educated children, feeding 160 million children through mid-day meals program by reducing school dropouts. Despite all these accomplishments, we have lost the propaganda war. But today, the economy is not faring any better and farmers are in distress as the BJP Government mostly thrives on empty rhetoric and symbolism’, Sharma further stated.
George Abraham, Chairman, Juned Qazi, President, Mohinder Singh Gilzian, Sr. Vice-President, Jose George, Treasurer, Dr. Dayan Naik, President, Karnataka Chapter, R. Jayachandran, President, Kerala Chapter, Prasad Kambhampaty, EC member, Harkesh Thakur, EC member and Chandrakant Patel, participated in discussions.