Congress leader Rahul Gandhi kicked off his US tour in San Francisco at an event called ‘Mohabbat ki Dukaan' on Tuesday, 30 May 2023.
He interacted with the Indian diaspora, activists, academics, minority groups and organisations and civil society at the University of California, Santa Cruz and said that India is being run by a group of people who are “absolutely convinced” that they know everything.
“There's a group of people who understand everything. They can explain science to scientists, history to historians, warfare to the Army, and at the heart of it is mediocrity, they actually don't understand anything,” Gandhi continued.
“I think if you sat Modi ji down next to God, he would start explaining to God how the universe works, and God would get confused about what I have created”.Rahul Gandhi
"The BJP is threatening people and misusing government agencies,” he said, drawing attention to the treatment of minorities and those in poverty.
“All the instruments that we needed to do politics in India were controlled by the BJP and RSS,” he added
Moreover, his speech also highlighted the success of the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
He added that it was during the Yatra when the idea of 'Nafrat Ke Bazaar Mein Mohabbat Ki Dukaan' came up to his mind.
"Not just in India, 'Bharat Jodo' is an idea which is about respecting each other and being affectionate to each other. It is about not being violent towards each other, not being arrogant. And I did nothing compared to Guru Nanak Ji. I read that he walked to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. He was doing Bharat Jodo much before. In Karnataka, Basavana ji. In Kerala, Narayan Guruji, every state has had these giants," the former Wayanad MP said.
Gandhi told the Indian Americans that the idea of India was under attack and is being challenged.
He also applauded the Indian Americans for holding up the Indian flag in America, showing the American people what it means to be an Indian by respecting their culture and learning from them while also allowing the Americans to learn from them.
“You make us all proud. When we think of our country, you are all our ambassadors. When America says Indian people are extremely intelligent. Indian people are masters of IT, Indian people are respectful. All these ideas that have come, they've come because of you and because of your actions and your behaviours,” he said.
A Look Into Rahul Gandhi’s Itinerary
San Francisco: Following touchdown in San Francisco on Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi interacted with the Indian diaspora, venture capitalists, tech-executives and students at Silicon Valley. Rahul Gandhi also meet with academics, intellectuals and activists, followed by a meet with the Indian diaspora in the evening.
On 31 May, the former Wayanad MP will interact with senior technology executives from the Silicon Valley on artificial intelligence. Subsequently, he will deliver a lecture at California's Stanford University, after he was invited last month, on ‘The New Global Equilibrium.'
“The Stanford event is completely full and there are people scampering,” Praveen Chakravarty, the party’s Data Analytics department Chairman and a close aide to Rahul Gandhi, told The Quint.
The talk is being organised by the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
He is slated to speak at the auditorium at Stanford University that saw an address from former US President Barack Obama.
“Then there are private meetings and dinners,” Praveen Chakravarty told The Quint.
Washington DC: Rahul Gandhi will visit Washington DC over the first two days of June.
On 1 June, he is set to speak at the National Press Club, which has previously seen press addresses from former PMs Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, on the future of Indian democracy, freedom of speech, and sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
Gandhi will have meetings with the lawmakers and think tanks in Washington DC. He will also meet a number of think tanks, who are assembling under one roof for an interaction with the Congress leader.