Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said freedom can never be for the few and asked Indians to aspire for a country where ideas are not “crushed violently” by the forces of hate and mediocrity.
“When the forces of darkness threaten this liberty for some of us, as we saw in recent times, we must remember that freedom can never be for the few -- it has to be for everyone. Every human being in India has the right to dignity and the freedom to live and express themselves freely,” he said on Independence Day.
Gandhi said Indians are right in aspiring for a country where none lives in fear and, “where ideas flow freely and are not crushed violently by the forces of hate and mediocrity. We must insist and fight for this truth, at all times.”
Rahul hoisted the national flag at the party headquarters in New Delhi for the first time since he took over as the Congress vice-president three years ago.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who usually hoists the flag on I-Day, was not present at the venue, as she was still in a private hospital recovering from her shoulder surgery.
Senior party leaders including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma were present on the occasion.
Rahul said the generation which earned us freedom is no longer with us but the Constitution is their precious gift.
“It embodies the values, principles and ideals for which they fought, values they hoped would guide our brave young country. Now it is up to us.”
Rahul’s remarks come against the backdrop of attacks on Dalits as also on Muslims by cow vigilantes in the recent past.