Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi called upon the youths of the country to break the shackles of casteism in the country.
He was speaking at the inauguration of year-long 125th anniversary programme of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar, organised by Congress at Mhow, 30 kms from Indore on Tuesday.
“I appeal to youth not to remain silent on casteism. It is our collective responsibility to fight against it,” he said.
The Congress leader, while addressing a public meeting, said that ‘centralisation of power’ is one main reason for strengthening of caste system in the country. “Decentralisation weakens it. We have to break this caste system. This is what Ambedkar wanted. We have to continuously struggle against it. It will take time to break this wall of casteism. It is a gradual process and the whole country will have to contribute.”
Referring to the recent ban on students at IIT-Chennai, Gandhi said that a group of students were targeted because they were Ambedkar’s followers.
Lauding the role of Ambedkar in nation building, Rahul said that he not only worked for upliftment of Dalits but also for women’s right and formation of RTI as well. “It is because of him that people from downtrodden section are now getting representations at different levels,” he said.
Earlier, Rahul paid rich floral tributes at the grand memorial of Ambedkar. The day marks the centenary of Ambedkar's graduation from Columbia University in the USA.
Gandhi’s visit to Mhow has evoked a keen interest not only among the Congressmen but also the ruling BJP which is seen as an apparent move to reach out to the Dalit community.
The Congress leader was accompanied by party general secretary Digvijaya Singh and former union minister Sushil Kumar Shinde among other leaders.