Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday advised media to understand its responsibility “a bit more” at a time when the Modi government was instilling “fear” among the journalists.
“When Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister and (P) Chidambaram was the Finance Minister, the media used to be very free in criticising them. But now a days, (I) do not know why they are not speaking from the heart,” he said at a day-long party convention amid cries of “shame, shame” from a section of audience.
Telling his party workers not to use the word, he said journalists do feel “frightened” because it is a matter of keeping their jobs and as they are mindful of phone calls from higher ups.
“We do not want to create trouble for you. But should also understand your responsibility a bit more,” he said at the convention.
Gandhi said media might have shown him in poor light or written against him but he would never scare them or work against their interests.
Describing institutions like RBI, Election Commission and judiciary as “soul” of India, Gandhi alleged that they as well as media are being “undermined” by the present government.
Mounting a scathing attack on BJP and RSS, Rahul accused them of creating an atmosphere of “fear” among the people, asserting the Congress will defeat their ideology and remove the saffron party from power.
Observing that it is a clash between two philosophies, the Congress vice president said while his party’s philosophy asks people to be fearless, BJP’s is to create “fear” and “scare” the people.
“This is a fight between two philosophies. This is not a new fight. This fight is thousands of years old. The Congress party’s philosophy says do not fear. The other philosophy says instill fear and scare them.
“You look at BJP’s policies. Their entire aim is to scare the people of the country. Fear terrorism, maoism, demonetisation, scare the media. In two-three months, in the entire country, they have spread this fear,” Gandhi said.
He said while the Congress party told labourers and farmers to be fearless come what may, they will be guaranteed 100 days employment and none will be able to take away their land without paying the market price for it, Narendra Modi “snatched” away their money and land.
Gandhi said in states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, where Adivasis have stood up for their land, water and forest rights, they have been shot down.
“These people (BJP and RSS) think that they can rule by spreading hatred and fear among the people. Congress party will defeat and remove them from power. We do not hate them (BJP and RSS) but we will defeat their ideology,” Gandhi said.
He said Congress party has always stood for dispelling the fear and asserted that India is strong and the country and its people do not to fear anything in this world.
“The basis of their politics, their structure, is to change fear into anger. This is not happening for the last two or two-and-a-half years but this has been going on for thousands of years. And they (BJP and RSS) are the ones doing it. This ideology is doing it”,”he said.
Gandhi said the philosophy of being fearless has been there in the Congress party and he has seen it in the correspondence between Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru for not fearing the British, during Green revolution, where farmers were asked to be fearless and trust themselves, bank nationalisation and under the UPA dispensation when the message “do not fear and we are there with you” was given by way of Land acquisation bill, Right to Food Act and MREGA.
(With PTI inputs)