Dubai: Congress President Rahul Gandhi said here Saturday that India has witnessed a great deal of intolerance and anger in the last four and a half years which stemmed from the “mentality of the people in power”.
Gandhi, who is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the second day of his maiden visit to the country, said India can absorb multiple ideas and does not attempt to force one idea on top of the people.
“Ideas have come to India, they have been shaped by India and India has been shaped by them. Listening to other people is also an idea of India,” he said while interacting with the students at the IMT Dubai University as part of his global outreach programme ahead of the general elections.
“Tolerance is embedded in our culture and it is quite sad to see what has been going on back home in the last four and a half years. We have seen a lot of intolerance, anger and division between communities. It stems from the mentality of the people who are leading,” he said.
Gandhi said if the leadership is tolerant, it will act in a tolerant way and spread that message.
“India is generally tolerant, we tend to listen and need to go back to that,” he said.
Noting that India is more than a geography, Gandhi said it was a particular way of looking at the world.
“I don’t want to restrict India just to the boundaries of India,” he said.
“We don’t like an India where journalists are shot, where people are beaten up for what they say. That is something we want to change, that is the challenge in the upcoming elections,” he said.
He said it was harder to make sports number one priority in India as the country faces bigger challenges like hunger.
Gandhi said agriculture sector needed to be “radically transformed”, asserting that currently India’s agriculture system was not connected to global economy.
He said India needed to reshape its banking system so that small and medium enterprises can get financial resources in order to scale up to become large companies.
The Congress president said healthcare was a “huge opportunity” for India in global perspective.
“We are sitting on the biggest genetic resources on the planet and that is what cure and medical health is going to be about in next 10-15 years,” the Congress President said.
“Brain Drain’ was a 20th century idea. In the 21st century people are more mobile and go where real opportunities are. One should make sure that your country provides opportunities,” he said.
Gandhi also met UAE’s Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.
“It was a pleasure to meet Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi today, at the lunch he hosted for our delegation. He is a true friend of India and I look forward to working with him to strengthen the relationship between our countries,” he said in a tweet.
Gandhi Friday had an “excellent meeting” with Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum during which the Congress president assured him that he was committed to an even stronger bilateral ties.
Earlier, he addressed Indian workers and interacted with business leaders. Gandhi also interacted with representatives of the Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC), Dubai and met the Punjabi community.