My AICC Press Brief dated 11.09.2017

Dr. Singhvi said, you have just heard the Hon’ble Prime Minister ending a short while ago, on his address regarding Swami Vivekananda’s historic visit to the United States. As you know Swami Vivekananda came to Chicago in 1893, to attend the World Parliament of Religions as a representative of India and of Hinduism where he eloquently quoted from the Bhagwad Gita and I am quoting the Bhagwad Gita and I am quoting Vivekananda Ji to you who said “Whosoever comes to me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to me. Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant – fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earthy. They have filled the earth with violence, and drenched it often with human blood, destroyed civilization, and sent whole nations to despair”. This is Vivekananda, this is the Gita. This universal message is time-invariant; it is time neutral, it is as relevant today as it was over 124 years ago.

The Indian National Congress pays rich and respectful tributes to our source of inspiration as we remember the enlightened words of a noble soul of India in Mahapurush Swami Vivekananda Ji.

The Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi has also paid rich tributes to Swami Ji on his 124th – 125th year address at Chicago which heralded the arrival of one of India’s greatest spiritual leaders and, therefore, September 11 is rightly commemorated as a Red Letter Day in India’s heritage.

Today, incidentally, it is a very happy coincidence – is also the day when Mahatama Gandhi used ‘Satyagraha’ for the first time, the phrase, the word “Satyagraha” in 1906 when he addressed Indians at Johannesburg and in a happy trinity of coincidences, in a happy tri-section of historical events, today is also the day when the father of the ‘Bhoodan Movement’ – the Gandhian Saint, Acharya Vinoba Bhave celebrates his birth anniversary. We pay homage to him. We pay homage to all of them but the bottom–line is that we expect the Prime Minister, who is our Prime Minister, this country’s Prime Minister – to not only preach, but we expect him to practice in letter and spirit. In letter and spirit, the messages, the theme, the true ‘Aatman’ of what Swami Vivekananda said. Unfortunately three years down the line of this Government, we are seeing the preaching, attaining every new heights of glory and prose, the practice is completely the opposite, attaining the depths of despair in real life India.

In 1921, Mahatma Gandhi visited Swami Vivekananda on his birthday at Vellore Math and he said, “I have gone through his verse very thoroughly and after having gone through them, the love that I had for my country became a thousand fold.” Rightly Swami Vivekananda personified the eternal energy of youth – Indian youth – and their restless incessant quest for truth. But you don’t insult him like this when surreptitiously you disobey the path shown by him. Do you really forget spirit, but do you even really in letter remotely, when you encourage a culture of hate, bigotry, narrow mindedness, parochialism, politics of prejudice and division, do you really in any sense of the word follow Swami Vivekananda in precept practice, sprit or action? This Government ‘s use and actions including views, are the diametric opposite of what the Mahapurusha like Swami Vivekananda preached espoused or represented.

I will give three examples, you known them very well but it is important to recall those examples in the context of Swami Vivekananda. Modi Government decides ‘what we wear, what we eat, where do we move, what we practice, what we do and how we live our lives.’ It has completely strangulated any kind of dissent and divergence of views. The recent incident of lynchings, the murder of free-thinkers, rationalists, dissenters is a grim reminder of the times we live in and I have briefed you just a couple of days ago on that.

Secondly, Shri Modi today also talked of respecting women. How can anybody have a view on that different from Shri Modi? Nobody can. His thoughts are, therefore, welcome, but I am very sorry and you will be the first to laud and applaud the PM, but unfortunately the actions of this Government are just the opposite. Every six minutes, a woman is raped in Delhi. Frankly, my day is spoilt when I see these children and one day later, a minor girl child, this is happening in the very capital of India under his nose and Dumka Jharkhand a BJP-ruled State, a minor was gang raped by 12 men recently. It is too horrific to talk about.

Thirdly, the Modi Government and Shri Modi wax eloquent about Make-in-India. I would equally say Make-in-India is a synonym for employment. What is Make-in-India but employment? It is another word for jobs. You know very well the CMIE – not me, not you, not the BJP, not anybody else has published documents, that in one quarter of this year – 15 lakh jobs i.e. 1.5 million jobs have been lost. How lost, what lost, we discuss later because of demonetization but the fact is that 15 lakh jobs have been lost. The least number of jobs per year, in the last ten years, has been created by the BJP Government in these last three years. Never before in the last 10 years, have lesser jobs been created. Last quarter, 1 lakh jobs were created. 15 lakh is lost in the first quarter of January, last quarter 1 lakh jobs are created.

Fourthly, Shri Modi’s pet theme along with Make-in India is the ‘Swacch Bharat’ Mission. The Swacch Bharat Mission had a corner stone plan – ‘Swacchta’ because it is very important but ‘Swacchta’ does not come by picking broom and having television optics on it. ‘Swacch Bharat’ corner stone was ‘Clean Ganga’. You know the amount of money and the amount of cleanliness Ganga has received in three years. Everything else which happened before Shri Modi was garbage, but let look only into Shri Modi’s time. ‘Clean India Mission’ sent the whole country on a toilet construction spree. You know what a tremendous amount of hype was created, a blitzkrieg of toilet construction. The basic point remains that 51% of our households in India, across India do not have an improved sanitation system. All the height and hoopla on one side – this new toilet truth is a sad truth. This new toilet truth is that most new toilets are using and are a dry pit toilet. There is no sanitation, there is no flushing. It is a dry pit toilet. As we all know Dry Pit toilets spreads maximum disease and encourages manual scavenging in remoter and rural areas. This is the truth. Lastly, we have seen what has happened to Skill India, Start up India and Stand up India. Unfortunately Skill India, Start up India and Stand up India have made ‘Fall Flat India’ as far as 26 are concerned. It is falling flat. You have also seen it in acknowledgement, in the Ministerial changes we have just seen a few weeks ago. The Investment sentiment, if it is so low, it is the lowest ever. There is a contradiction, how can you have Skill India, Start up India, Make in India jobs if the investment is the lowest ever.

Manufacturing Sector growth is 9 years’ lowest ebb. It is amazing. I must compliment the Prime Minister and his team that this Make in India hype and hoopla, and in 9 years the lowest ever. We never talked of Make-in-India but we did do and now you have 9 years lowest and GDP only in the last quarter is 5.7%. We were running minimum 8.5% but also 9.2%. We are now 5.7%. The lowest in comparison to same quarter earlier, the lowest in many quarters and I think unfortunately the worst news has not yet come. Let us hope, but unfortunately we will hear worse news in the next and next after quarter and lastly we know the farm distress and Agriculture. What abysmal situation is there? Instead of all this, preaching, we should just celebrate Vivekananda in spirit which is in practice in reality, at the grass roots.

On the question of reaction of the Congress Party on the statement of the statement of Home Minister on his visit to J&K regarding Article 35A, Dr. Singhvi said Home Minister is a very important functionary. I am not saying anything personally about him but I am reminded of Nani Palkhivala, who once said that, when your house is on fire, you don’t discuss whether you should convert your bed room into a drawing room or dining room into a kitchen. You first deal with the fire. At the moment Kashmir is in a very delicate situation. I do not understand and know whether it is the right time, opportune moment to even talk about, leave aside the merits of an issue like this.

On all four parameters – civilians’ causalities cross border incidents, army deaths and terrorist incidents – Kashmir in three years has achieved the worst figures. After all Kashmir was never an easy situation, but for 10 years did you have the same situation in Kashmir as you had during UPA time and during these three years’ time. In that scenario, if the Hon’ble Home Minister can achieve a solution, we would go out of our way to laud it, but is 35 years solution in the middle of all this? Is it going to create any joining, any consensus, and any conversions or is it going to create huge divergences when neither the State Government nor the Central Government are in sync. Within the State Government there appeared to be two Governments in J&K and in Srinagar. Within the Central Government and the State Government of the same color, of the same coalition there is absolutely no co-ordination. So, I do not understand the purpose of this. If it is only to score a point over us, we will be the happiest if you to score a point over us, by choosing the same day to visit and we have announced two weeks ago but if you score a point over us, score a point for the Nation. The Congress Party is no problem. If you are able to over-shadow the Congress Party’s delegation, but, achieve a result. I am very sorry to say the opposite of a result is being done the by these facts.

On the question of the reaction of the Congress Party on the removal of Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee President, Dr. Singhvi said, only two things – you have to go to him and ask the true meaning of this statement.

Secondly, if there is a constructive suggestion, there is always scope for improvement in every party and we are open to it and thirdly all such issues relating to Himachal Pradesh have very recently been discussed under the Chairmanship of the Vice President of the Party in context of the Shinde Committee detailed report and most of them have not only been analyzed, but settled.

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