Democracy doesn't die with a bang: Rahul Gandhi takes a jab at RSS in poll-bound Tamil Nadu

Published on Feb 27, 2021 02:33 PM IST

Rahul Gandhi is on a three-day tour of Tamil Nadu where assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited VOC College in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi (PTI Photo/R Senthil Kumar)(PTI)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited VOC College in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi (PTI Photo/R Senthil Kumar)(PTI)
By | Edited by Ayshee Bhaduri, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Saturday elected institutions and the media in the country have witnessed a ‘systematic attack’ over the last six years and accused the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of destroying institutional balance.

“Over the last six years, there has been a systematic attack on elected institutions and free press that hold the nation together. Democracy doesn't die with a bang, it dies slowly. The RSS has destroyed the institutional balance,” he said while addressing advocates at VOC College in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi. “There is a full-scale assault against secularism… The RSS and the BJP are leading that assault,” he added.

Gandhi is on a three-day tour of Tamil Nadu where assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6. The Election Commission of India, which announced the schedule of the polls to the 234-member assembly in Tamil Nadu on Friday, also declared that by-polls to the Kanniyakumari parliamentary seat of the southern state will be held on the same date as the assembly elections. The results will be declared on May 2, the poll body said.

Gandhi compared today’s political scenario to India’s struggle for Independence and said that today’s institutions have become untrustworthy and hence the country is alone in its fight today just as it was during the British rule. “We need a judiciary that isn’t penetrated by the RSS,” Gandhi added.

The member of Parliament, who represents Kerala’s Wayanad in the Lok Sabha, said the opposition cannot go after him and then gave the reason. “They can’t touch me because I have been an honest person throughout my political career,” said Gandhi.

Gandhi suggested that judges should not be appointed to different posts after they retire and should go through a “cooling off period”. “We have seen cases of judges giving verdicts in favour of governments. There should be a cooling-off period (after justices’ retirement),” he said.

He vocalised his “full support” for reservation for women in the judiciary and Parliament, adding that Indian men need to see women as their equals. “In every space, Indian men need to view the Indian women with the same lens they view themselves,” Gandhi told his audience.

The Congress leader also talked at length about Electronic Voting Machines, saying there are problems with EVMs and that political parties should be allowed to study them and check them randomly. “Whenever the Congress has said show us EVMs, let us do random checks on machines, we are told you can’t do. I would be comfortable with EVMs if I could see it was open to checking, transparent, accessible to political parties,” he said.

Gandhi also reiterated his previous stance on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). “We believe the CAA is discriminating. We don’t agree with it and don’t support it.”

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