Intolerance, startups cannot go hand in hand: Rahul

Kochi: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today took a dig at the NDA government’s startup initiative, saying intolerance and startups cannot go hand in hand as it is essential to have free movement of ideas for such a mission to prosper.

Interacting with budding entrepreneurs during his visit to the Startup village near Kalamassery here, he said youths across the globe are attracted to Silicon Valley due to its inclusive nature.

“There is no discrimination in the name of colour, gender or mode of dressing there,” he was quoted as saying in a government release here.

Noting that intolerance and startups can’t go hand in hand, the Congress leader said encouraging free thinking and tolerance are two essential things required for laying a strong foundation for India’s dreams to develop.

Speaking at the function in which media was not allowed, he said students and youths should be allowed to think freely as innovation require free movement of ideas.

“For a start-up to prosper it is essential to have free movement of ideas… we should not allow incidents of violence and bloodshed. To avoid incidents like suicide of a Dalit research scholar in Hyderabad and protests of Film Institute in Pune, youths should be allowed to think freely,” he said.

Gandhi, who spent nearly an hour inside the Startup Village, was taken around various facilties there, P H Kurian, Principal Secretary, Information Technology Department, said.

When it was pointed out by an entrepreneur that politicians usually make promises, Gandhi immediately quipped he was not there to make any promises.

“I am not making any promises and I will not,” he said.

“You are the people with challenging ideas around,” he said, adding, he was aware that entrepreneurs do face problems.

The Kalamassery-based Startup Village, India’s first incubator, is funded jointly by the public and private sector.

Started in April 2012, Kerala Startup Mission took over physical space of the Startup Village this January.

Aiming to launch 1,000 technology startups over the next 10 years and start the search for the next billion-dollar Indian company, the Startup Village focusses primarily on student startups and telecom innovation.