A combative Rahul Gandhi today signalled an aggressive campaign against the RSS soon and declared that a reinvigorated Congress alone can “smash” BJP and its ideological mentor.
“Secularism is in the blood of Congress and it simply cannot be removed… This is the DNA of our organisation and we just have to reinvigorate that and you will see Congress… defeat, and not just defeat, but smash RSS and BJP,” he said.
Winding up a two-day national conference in the run up to the 125th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru, he suggested that the challenges ahead are not insurmountable even as he averred that it would “not be a fair” assessment that Congress was not fighting RSS.
The Congress Vice President said that his party was the “biggest force” fighting it.
Further, expressing concern over the growing atmosphere of intolerance, he charged that “for the first time in the history, a fascist organisation that is openly opposed to the ideology and values of our Constitution has acquired decisive power over the Union”.
He added that “they have demonstrated in the last 18 months that they are prepared to use the very power of the republic to destroy it”.
Gandhi said there was an “unprecedented challenge and crisis facing all Indians”.
Claiming that the stated purpose of RSS was to establish a “theocratic, autocratic state”, he said that to achieve this goal, it has to destroy the current liberal, progressive, secular, social and democratic republic.
Gandhi also said that there was a false impression among scholars, intellectuals and historians who participated in the meet that RSS had beaten Congress.
“We are viewing this somewhere as a victory of the RSS. We are viewing this as RSS having beaten us. This is false. RSS does not (know)… What it is going to face in the coming weeks and months and years,” he said.
Seeking to reach out to the progressive intellectuals and scholars, he said it is a time for Congress and them to re-establish the relationship and have a discussion to bring out the ideas that are going to help the party defeat RSS.
“There is actually no distinction between you and us… There is a false barrier here between us… A lot of my friends here said why hasn’t Congress done this and why hasn’t Congress done that.
“But you also have to look towards Congress and realise that it deals with the equation of power. Congress is forced to deal with the equation of power and that changes many many things….I cannot just wish away the idea of power. It exists. And I have to open up to the idea of power,” he said as he sought to respond to complaints that the party had not acted pro-actively in certain situations.