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At Ambedkar conference, Rahul Gandhi says BJP trying to ‘mutilate’ Constitution

The Congress vice-president accused the BJP of trying to ride roughshod over citizens and rewrite history.

india Updated: Jul 22, 2017 10:19 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Rahul Gandhi,Congress,Congress vice-president
Rahul Gandhi, flanked by Martin Luther King III and Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah and Prakash Ambedkar grandson of Dr BR Ambedkar at the inauguration of the Dr B R Ambedkar International Conference in Bengaluru on Friday.(Arijit Sen/HT Photo)

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Friday put the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the line of fire accusing them of trying to rob the people of their voice and ‘mutilate’ the Constitution.

“The aim is to mutilate the Indian Constitution which was given to us by i Ambedkar. That is the aim, to mutilate the Constitution given to us by Ambedkar,” Gandhi said on the opening say of the three-day BR Ambedkar International Conference organised by the Karnataka government in Bengaluru

He said there was a crucial difference between truth and power. “Millions have been swept away by the menacing magic of power. But the strength of leaders like Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Martin Luther King Jr was that they spoke truth to power.”

“They said Rohit Vemula committed suicide, I say it was murder. Mohammed Akhlaq was butchered because they said he stolen a calf, but that was a lie,” Gandhi said.

The Congress vice-president said there was an attempt being made by the BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to rewrite history. “The BJP wants to paint a lie over India so that they can return to a forgotten time, a forgotten age.”

Gandhi said this was an age where the poor and the weak were trampled upon, millions of people were untouchable. “An age of kings and no questions. An age of great wealth for a few and misery and abject poverty for everyone else.”

He said India’s freedom was not simply taken away by the British, it was handed over by some Indians. “We lost our voice because we surrendered it. And this is what Modi and the RSS want. They want India to surrender its voice,” Gandhi added.

The lie of the perfect past was designed to rob people of their voice, their vote and their power, Gandhi said. He said, there were two ways of robbing people. The first, frighten them into submission, and the other is to shout so loudly that no one else can be heard. “Narendra Modi and the RSS are doing just that,” Gandhi said.

Gandhi asked people to follow Dr Ambedkar’s call to educate, agitate and organise.

Chief minister Siddaramaiah who said he had been influenced by the socialist ideals of Ram Manohar Lohia and the thoughts of Dr Ambedkar, also launched an attack on the BJP.

“Today we are being told that being a good Indian means we have to ignore the inequality and exploitation in our midst,” Siddarmaiah said.

Drawing on Dr Ambedkar’s ideas of nationality as a feeling of oneness, the CM said he condemned the terming of some as anti-national and “the term itself”.

“This is because, in a plural system, morality is also diverse and the idea of India cannot be constricted to a narrow definition,” Siddarmaiah added.

First Published: Jul 22, 2017 10:19 IST