Was slammed when I talked of drug menace: Rahul Gandhi | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Was slammed when I talked of drug menace: Rahul Gandhi

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi answered a wide range of questions asked by Panjab University students during an interactive session on the campus on Thursday.

chandigarh Updated: Oct 17, 2014 08:10 IST
Surender Sharma

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi answered a wide range of questions asked by Panjab University students during an interactive session on the campus on Thursday. Excerpts:

What is your take on the declining moral values among the youth?

It is up to the youth what they chose. On the one hand, you have hundreds who are addicted to drugs, but on the other there are people like her (Mandeep Kaur, Punjab athlete and member of the Asiad gold-winning 4x400 metres relay team, was sitting with him on the dais) winning the gold medal. To take the state and the country forward, you will have to come forward.

Panjab University is not a central university, due to which the fees are high. Will you intervene so that students are benefited?

The previous UPA government made efforts to give more funds to the university. I’m sure that it also worked for PU’s central status. We are not in the government now. You should take up the issue with those in power (NDA).

How can youth from a modest background and without any political background go up the ladder in politics?

I have tried to democratise the Congress and its various wings. Young people, irrespective of caste or background, are reaching top posts. The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) is a wonderful platform and gives an opportunity to go up the ladder in politics.

Why did your government not open a Sanskrit university in 10 years of rule?

It will be a narrow viewpoint if we compartmentalised education in languages. I don’t agree with you that for you need a dedicated university for the promotion of Sanskrit. Students should be taught all languages, say Hindi, Japanese or English, in all institutions.

How can you deal with the drug issue in Punjab? Why doesn’t the Congress launch a movement to save youths from drugs?

I was slammed in 2012 for my statement on the issue when I said that seven youths out of 10 in Punjab are into drugs. But the menace has reached an alarming stage. If it remains so, the state would collapse. The NSUI should launch a campaign against it. I am ready to join the campaign. You can also take the help of Partap Singh Bajwa (Punjab Congress president, sitting beside him).

When will you get married?

I will see (smiles).

You talked about bringing in more youths in the party, but when it came to tickets, they were given to the kith and kin of big political families. I am a Congress sympathiser, but it is difficult to approach you as you are always surrounded by security men. I have written over 1,000 emails to you. But got a reply to only one, and that too about birthday wishes.

It is impossible for me to reply to every email as I get 2,000-3,000 a day. Instead, you should have given your suggestions to those leaders who are around you. What do you want to do for the country? Tell me! I will give you the ticket and field you in the elections (Later, Rahul asked his aides to note down her address and email).