Congress President Sonia Gandhi today expressed apprehension whether the “forces of darkness” were trying to destroy the roots of democracy, as she took a veiled jibe at the RSS saying some organisations had opposed the Quit India movement and played no role in the freedom movement.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha during a special discussion to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Quit India movement, she said there was a feeling that the “clouds of the politics of division and hate” are hovering over the plural and egalitarian values enshrined in the Constitution.
“It seems secular, democratic and liberals values are being endangered. The public space for debate and difference of opinion is shrinking…
“Have the forces of darkness emerged? Is there a fear about the existence of a sense of freedom? Are attempts being made to destroy roots of democracy which is based on equality, social justice, law-based system and freedom of expression,” Gandhi said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi listened to her as she took digs at his party and its ideological mentor RSS, without naming them.
“We should not forget that there were people and organisations which had opposed the Quit India movement and had played no role in getting our country freedom,” she said.
BJP member Kirron Kher shouted “travesty, travesty”, as Gandhi made these remarks but was signalled from the treasury benches to remain quiet.
The Congress has often accused the RSS of playing no role in the freedom movement, a charge vehemently denied by it.
People have to fight for the India they believe in, which is loved by one and all and which was envisioned by the freedom fighters, Gandhi said.
“We can and will not allow the idea of India to be a prisoner to narrow mindedness, divisive and communal ideology.
If we have to preserve freedom, we will have to defeat the forces endangering it. We can’t and we won’t allow sectarian forces to succeed,” she said, asking people to defeat such “repressive” forces.
She also underlined the contributions of the Congress and Jawaharlal Nehru to the landmark episode in India’s struggle for independence, adding that her party’s workers had made countless sacrifices.