Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and other Congress leaders during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, in Kerala on September 18, 2022.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and other Congress leaders during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, in Kerala on September 18, 2022.

Rahul Gandhi says India has to stand together, cannot be at war with itself

Alappuzha, September 18, 2022

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today said that one of the main messages of the party's ongoing 3,570-km Bharat Jodo Yatra is that the country has to stand together and cannot be at war with itself as well as that India simply could not afford its youngsters to be unemployed.

"We simply cannot have a country which does not have the capacity to give our youngsters a future, a vision and a dream. And it is shameful that we are unable to give our youngsters a job," he said at a largely-attended public meeting at Alappuzha in Kerala on the 11th day of the five-month journey from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.

"It is something that this country should be ashamed of. It is not a matter of pride. It is a matter of shame that we are not able to give our children a future," he said.

The meeting came at the end of a day when Gandhi and other "yatris" covered nearly 25 km on foot from Haripad to Punnapra.

In all, the yatra will be in Kerala for 19 days, covering seven districts over 450 km before it enters Karnataka on October 1.

Gandhi said there was too much inequality in India. "We will not accept an India, where three or four people own everything and millions and millions of people cannot eat. We will not accept an India where five people can dominate any business they want and millions of Indians cannot get themselves a job," he said.

The Congress leader said the yatra is attempting to bring together the people of India, which he alleged has been divided by the BJP and the RSS along religious, caste and language lines and which is today "full of anger and hatred".

"The irony is that you have a country with the highest level of unemployment, the highest prices and the same country has the richest people in the world," he said.

Gandhi said a handful of businessmen could enter and monopolise any business they want and banks will give them any amount of money but there is no such support available for young people with business ideas.

He went on to talk about the problems being faced by cashew and coir workers as well as unemployed workers in the state, many of whom he had met during the yatra.

He also spoke about the high fuel prices and the problems this was causing people like autorickshaw drivers, delivery boys and so on.

Gandhi also mentioned the poor condition of roads in Kerala and the number of accidents that take place as well as the lack of proper trauma care facilities in areas like Alappuzha.

He said that his conversations with people on the current journey had made it clear that there were many challenging problems facing them and the country. He hastened to add that these were not easy to solve but they cannot be ever resolved if the country is divided.

"Hatred will never fix the roads of Kerala. Hatred will never give your youngsters employment and they will not allow the youngsters to build a drone," he said, in a reference to a youngster he had met today and who had built a drone. "Harmony is required; peace and quiet is required for India to progress," he added.'


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