In a blistering attack on the Narendra Modi government, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said it has gone into a war with its own people imposing a single suffocating ideology on 1.3 billion Indians.
Delivering the keynote address at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2018, here, Gandhi lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party regime saying it dislikes thinkers like journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh who was shot dead last year and others who are sacked merely for criticising the Prime Minister.
"What we see today in India is defaming, a maligning of the Indian imagination. The Indian government has gone into war with its own people because it wants to impose one ideology on 1.3 billion of us.
"It wants to impose one singular suffocating memory on our 1.3 billion people," said Gandhi in his scathing criticism of the Modi rule.
"What is the nature of the war, farmers are committing suicide by the thousands. Economy is decimated, rupee is on its knees, petrol is at an all-time high, the stock market is imploded, 12 lakh crore in NPAs and the banking system is jammed shut. Unemployment is at a 20-year high.
"Unorganised sector has been decimated as a result of the demonetisation and extremely complex multilayered GST. Millions and millions of small and medium business have been wiped out. Public confidence is in tatters," he said castigating the government's policies.
He said peoples' aspiration was turning into anger — Dalits and tribals agitating across the country and there are vicious attacks on the minorities.
"Our friends in the media are sacked because they criticised the Prime Minister, Gauri Lankesh is shot dead because of what she wrote.
"Fresh thinking is unwelcome, in fact, forget about fresh thinking they dislike thinkers — (former Reserve Bank of India Governor) Raghu Ram Rajan, (Nobel laureate) Amartya Sen…the list goes on.
Gandhi said "institutions are attacked, Supreme Court judges are compelled to go public because they feel intimidated and in the same breath they speak of Judge B.H. Loya (a CBI judge who died under mysterious circumstances in 2014), they speak of their fear".
He said the sole qualification of choosing Vice Chancellors to lead the country's top universities was that they subscribe to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideology.
India today was "burning", Gandhi said, while the government was only talking about its slogans like — Make in India and Clean India, which he said have translated into zilch.
"People in charge are convinced that they have a monopoly on knowledge, only they understand and no one else anything about India or the Indians' dreams," he said.
Reciting lines from Rabindranath Tagore's "Where the mind is Without Fear", Gandhi called upon people to reimagine the India where all Indians were free and not discriminated against.