Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said on Saturday that start-ups and intolerance cannot exist together, reviving the debate over intolerance on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched his ambitious Start-Up India plan to boost entrepreneurship.
“There is a contradiction in saying that I want start-ups and I would be intolerant. Start-ups require free movement of ideas. Intolerance doesn’t allow that,” Gandhi said in an interaction with students of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai.
He, however, said start-ups did need a boost. “A start-up requires a whole ecosystem including infrastructure, finance and doing away with red tape to allow an entrepreneur to grow... Big businesses can go around regulations, small businesses cannot do that,” Gandhi said.
In an interaction that went on for more than an hour, Gandhi answered students’ questions on the economy, China-India relations, the goods and services tax bill, start-ups, censorship, education, terrorism and the involvement of politicians in sports administration.
“I will not tell others how to live their lives. BJP categorises people. That is the difference between us and BJP-RSS philosophy,” Gandhi said.
He said no education institutes of international standards can be built if there is an atmosphere of intolerance.
On the government’s handling of the Pathankot terror attack, Gandhi said terrorist strikes cannot be prevented but they can be handled in a better way. “Following the Mumbai terror attacks, we managed to isolate Pakistan internationally and tied down their hands.”