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Rahul?s vision for new India

Rahul blamed corruption and caste for holding the people back.

india Updated: May 01, 2006 02:09 IST
Vijay Dutt

"India is rising but I want to see it compete successfully with every other country, and I want to transform what you see here -- poverty," said Rahul Gandhi to the Sunday Times correspondent who joined him in his car while he campaigned for his mother in Rae Bareli. "I would like to help these people (surrounding him) have the same living standards you have."

When asked whether same standards as "In the West", he said, " Better than in the West. We're not here to take (British jobs), we're here to empower ourselves."

He blamed corruption and caste for holding the people back. "We're a poor country. We have a lot of people in villages with tremendous potential for entrepreneurship but it is denied to them. Corruption is holding them back, caste is holding us back."

Mobbed by people at every village he visited, his looks were compared with his father. "He shares his late father's glamorous looks, his pale skin sporting designer stubble. But he comes across serious, even bookish," the Sunday Times report said.

Quoting him, the paper says, "He doesn't like Bollywood films; he prefers to relax with books on terrorism and business strategy."

On threats in the background of the assassinations of Indira Gandhi and his father Rajiv Gandhi, Rahul said, "Physically, you get used to the threats."

He said that his father's killing by a Tamil suicide bomber in 1991 made his mind up to enter politics with a desire to carry on his work.

"When he (Rajiv Gandhi) died I felt he was doing things to modernise the country and he was cut short. What he was doing was on the right track. He was bridging the gap between modern India and traditional India."

According to the Sunday Times, "It is Rahul's desire for India to escape its grinding poverty and surpass the western world that evidently drives his ambition".

It also noted that villagers had waited hours to see him and when he did come they were euphoric, "desperate for a glimpse of the man they regard as a living god".

The paper also quotes Captain Satish Sharma who is with Rahul Gandhi in Rae Bareli forecasting that Rahul would surely lead the Congress.

"Manmohan Singh is a great Prime Minister, but after him it's Rahul. Look out there (pointing to the crowd) see what's happening. It's just destiny, it's beyond anyone's control." Ohers agreed that Rae Bareli had emotional feelings about the entire Gandhi family.