In his speech in University of California, Berkeley Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi dealt with multiple topics, but there some things that stood out.
For the first time, Rahul Gandhi praised PM Narendra Modi on an open forum, saying that latter is a “much better communicator” than him who knows how to “give a message to three or four different groups” of people in a crowd.
Rahul went on to praise the ‘Make in India’ initiative, one of Modi government’s flagship programmes. However, he had a different take on it. He said rather than big businesses, ‘Make in India’ should help small and medium enterprises transform into global companies.
He called it the handiwork of 1,000 BJP workers, who have been deployed by the current dispensation to ‘spread malicious things’ about him. He left it to the people to judge him on the basis of how he spoke, what he spoke and the way he conducted himself.
In the past, Rahul had always talked about giving opportunities to young people who do not belong to any political dynasty. He had a different view this time. He said dynasty politics is a part of Indian society, citing examples from political parties, film industry and businesses.
There was a time when Rahul would evade questions on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, by saying he was very young when it took place. This time, he offered consolation to those who lost their families and presented himself as someone who is with them in their quest for justice.
Rahul said terrorism in Kashmir has increased during the NDA government. He claimed to have brought young Kashmiris to the mainstream and offered them educational opportunities and jobs. He said there was virtually no space for terrorism when UPA was in power.