‘Deshbhakt are Afraid of Caste Census’, Says Rahul Gandhi Claiming No Force Can Stop Him from Getting the Society’s ‘X-ray’ Done

The Congress says that its manifesto talks about socio economic caste counts, not “redistribution” of income.
Rahul Gandhi addressing Samajik Nyay Sammelan in New Delhi on April 24.
Rahul Gandhi addressing Samajik Nyay Sammelan in New Delhi on April 24. Photo: X/@RahulGandhi

New Delhi: Launching scratching against the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) amid the controversy surrounding wealth redistribution, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on April 24 said that though people who identify themselves as “deshbhakt” (patriot) are “afraid” of the “X-ray” of the caste census, no amount of force can stop it. He claimed the aim of his life is to secure justice for 90% of the population.

Speaking at the ‘Samajik Nyay Sammelan’ at Jawahar Bhavan in the national capital, he claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party (the BJP) targeted him for just talking about finding out how much injustice had been done to 90% of the population.

“I am more concerned about ‘nyay’ (justice) than caste. Ninety-percent of people in the country are the victims of egregious injustice. I just said let’s find out how much injustice is being done. The proposal should not have faced any opposition as I had not even stated that we would do anything about it as of yet. If you get injured and I say get an X-ray done, no one should object to that,” he said.

The former Congress president said it is the mission of his life to ensure justice to the 90% of the country’s population, who have been the “victims of injustice”.

“As soon as our government is formed, the first thing that would be done is a caste census,” he said, adding, “The Congress will return a modest portion to 90% of the populace from the Rs 16 lakh crore that Modi transferred to a select business people”.

With regard to the promises his party has made in the election manifesto, he said, “We have calculated...what we felt is justice and that help should be given, we put it down in the manifesto.”

He said it’s not a political issue, it is like a “mission” for him. “No force can stop caste census, and I guarantee it,” he declared, adding the more it is halted, the more it would reappear with greater vigor.

He said there is a distinction between politics and life mission — noting that while one can compromise in politics, one cannot do the same in the latter.

He added after reading the Congress’ “revolutionary manifesto”, which mentions the “X-ray” and the income disparities that Modi has brought about, Prime Minister Modi has lost his cool.

If the Congress is elected to power, the BJP says it will seize people’s wealth and redistribute it among “infiltrators” and “people who have many children”. In an attempt to prove that the Congress wishes to lawfully deprive individuals of their assets and lifelong savings that they wish to leave for their children, Modi and his party highlighted Congress leader Sam Pitroda’s comments on inheritance tax.

The Congress has insisted that, rather than discussing “redistribution” of wealth, its manifesto refers to a socio economic caste census.

Using his involvement in the MGNREGA scheme, the Land Acquisition Bill, the Bhatta Parsaul movement and the Niyamgiri Hills matter, Gandhi took a jab at the media for calling him a “non-serious” politician.

He said all his efforts mentioned above were “non-serious” for the media while talking about Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Virat Kohli was serious.

Gandhi said at the Samruddha Bharat Foundation event, “Anybody who talks of the 90% of the population is dubbed non-serious.”

He claimed to have looked into stakeholders in the media industry and discovered that not a single OBC, Dalit or tribal anchor existed.

“So you don’t have the loudspeaker with you. In the media, there is no representation. Governments provide money, but it’s unclear whose money ends up in the GST. This represents the wealth of 90% of the population,” he said, speaking to an audience primarily made up of Dalits, tribal members and members of underdeveloped organizations.

He said the situation applied to the judiciary as well, noting that just 100 of the 650 high court judges are from the 90% population.

Gandhi said no Dalits, tribal people or OBCs are among the top 200 industrialists of the nation.

“Narendra Modi has given Rs 16 lakh crore to 25 people from these firms. If you waive farmers’ loans 25 times, that amount of money has been given by the prime minister to 25 people,” he alleged.

“However, the national media and Narendra Modi immediately began to claim that attempts were being made to split and destroy the country as soon as I used the word X-ray and said, let us test how unfairness is there,” he said.

According to him, an “X-ray” can only reveal participation, and this is something that all patriots would want.

“What is the desire of a deshbhakt? A deshbhakt desires justice for the nation. A deshbhakt desires India to flourish and emerge as a global powerhouse. Therefore, one must harness the potential of 90% of the population in order to surpass China and become a superpower. Those who identify themselves as deshbhakts are afraid of X-rays,” he remarked.

“Modi claimed to be an OBC for 10 years, but as soon as I brought up the caste census, he declared that there were no castes. How are you an OBC if there are no castes?If it is so, you should declare that you are a casteless person. There are two castes: rich and poor,” he said.

“He (Modi) then said there are two castes: rich and poor. If you say so, then take out the list of poor, you will only find Dalits or adivasis and backwards in it,” he said.

He alleged the BJP wants to distract tribal people, OBCs and Dalits from their problems. “What they are having trouble with is that you can only divert attention for a certain period of time, and now OBC is asking, ‘What’s going on’?”

When the Ram Mandir was built, he said, not a single member of our community — the Dalits and tribal people — was present in its consecration ceremony. The “The Parliament building was inaugurated, but did not see our people there,” he alleged.

Referring to President Droupadi Murmu’s absence from the inauguration event, he said, “It is the job of the head of state to inaugurate Parliament, but she was not invited to the event.”

Gandhi claimed that a caste census would provide clarity and added that it would also include an institutional and economic study.

He said the nation will get to know the number of Dalits, adivasis and “lower” caste people and their participation in different fields.

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