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How Rahul Gandhi Took Down BJP in LK Advani’s Presence 

Rahul Gandhi shared an anecdote of the Vietnam War, to illustrate the idea of ‘battle without hate’ on Wednesday.

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Cameraperson: Abhishek Ranjan
Camera Assistant: Amanjeet Singh
Editor: Vishal Kumar
Producer: Indira Basu

Veteran journalist Karan Thapar’s book launch at Delhi’s Taj Mahal Hotel on 25 July, Wednesday, saw in attendance Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former Vice President of India Hamid Ansari, Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, among others.

Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, speaking as the guest of honour at the event on Wednesday evening, shared an anecdote from his visit to Vietnam. Rahul Gandhi recalled meeting a man whose mother had been killed before his eyes, by a US bomb. The Vietnamese man was only seven years old at the time, and had been left with a massive hole-like scar on his head from a hand-grenade that had been hurled at him.

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Rahul Gandhi had learned, to his surprise, that this survivor of the Vietnam War, harboured no hate in his heart for the Americans, despite watching many members of his family being bombed to death by the US. The lesson that Rahul Gandhi learnt, and shared at Karan Thapar’s event was that one can fight political or ideological battles – tooth-and-nail with one’s opponents – and still bear no hate towards them.

Gandhi went on to say, “Hate is a choice. It is an active choice that you make. I might disagree with Mr Advani [LK Advani] and I might have a completely different conception of the country than Mr Advani does...but I don't hate him,” adding, “I can actually hug him and fight him.”

Of course, Rahul Gandhi was reiterating what he had said a few days prior on the floor of the Lok Sabha – where he had claimed to “love” his opponent, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, just before hugging him.

Invoking the perceived ideals of Hinduism, Gandhi also went on to say, “If there is one thing that our religion teaches us is that you absolutely cannot get imprisoned by hatred, and that is my endeavor.”

In a climate of hate and growing polarisation, Rahul Gandhi’s message earned him quite a few cheers.

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