Rahul Gandhi, who was named Congress no. 2 at Chintan Shivir at Jaipur, spoke at the concluding session of the three-day brainstorming meet.
Here's the full text of his speech:
Transcript of Shri Rahul Gandhi’s speech at AICC Session, Jaipur
Congress President Sonia Gandhi ji, Pradhan Mantri Dr Manmohan Singh ji, Members of the Congress Working Committee, PCC presidents and Chief Ministers of States and Rajasthan, AICC Members, Delegates of the Chintan Shivir, Friends, I would like to welcome all of you here and thankyou very much for all the support you have shown to me.
There are a lot of our workers who are not here today. I would also like to thank them for the work they do and for the blood and sweat they give to this party.
Before I begin, I would like to state that this is a huge honour for me. Over the last 8 years, this party has taught me a tremendous amount. I have learnt from the senior leaders and the youngsters of this party and I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for all the help and direction you have given me.
There are people in South India who would like me to speak in English and there are people in North India and as is the tradition, I will speak in English and then I will speak in Hindi. In 1947 India was librated not by arms but by unleashing the voice of our people, other countries fought violently, other countries fought with weapons, other countries fought with death, India fought with non- Violence and with voice.
Everybody told us that it can be done; everybody told us that if you want to get rid of British you have to use violence and the Congress party said no we are not going to use Violence we are not going to use Violence and we defeated the biggest empire of its time and we send them home. This was energy behind of freedom movement voices million and millions of our voices.
Gandhi ji success us led by Jawahar Lal Nehru feed the voice of every Indian by ensuring the democracy became the better of our constitution. Relentlessly championing the voice of every Indian will always be the essence of the congress party and not a Indian one caste or one religion I would like to repeated every single Indian is going to be supported.
No matter who he is, if he is Indian we work for him. Let’s look at the last 60 years of India’s successes. They have all come when we gave up the people voice. The Green revolution, to restore the voice of the farmer, Bank Nationalisation to restore the voice of the poor and the market for credit. The IT and Telecom revolutions literaly gave the people voice, millions of people’s voice and if you have a cellphone in your pocket today it is result of that revolution.
And it’s an honour that Manmohan Singh ji is sitting here because he speare headed another revolution in 1991, he unleash the voice of thousands in the field of entreprenuership and change the country forever. The UPA Government is followed Gandhiji’s Model. It is created the platforms for those denied their voice in the political system, for the first time in our history our people is being gureenteed their basic rights, social and economic heads. The food bill will ensure that true mother sees her child go hungry at night, the RTI allows every single Indian to personally take on the battle against corruption. MANREGA is given millions of Indians pride in their work, Right to Education enables every child to espire to greatness. All of these radical innovations were possible only because of the growth provided by the congress party and the UPA. But there are many challanges ahead. The voices of the billion Indians are today that they want to greater say in government, in politics and in administration.
This can’t be decided by hand full of people behind closed doors who are not fully accountable to them. They are telling us that India’s governmental system is stuck in the past it is become a system that robs people of their voice, a system that dis-empowers instead of empowering. But why we are in this situation, why is it I ask you, that our ministries do the work of Panchayats. Why is it the Supreme Court handle the load of lok houses of justice? Why is it the CMs need to appoint a teacher? Why a VCs chosen by people who far removed from their education systems? No matter what state you look at, No matter which political party you look at why do a handful of people control the entire political space?
Power is grossly centralized in our country we only empower people at the top of a system. We don’t believe in empowering people all the way to bottom. Every single day I meet people who has tremendous understanding deep insight and no voice and all of us meet them, they are very where. But almost always they are kept outside ours systems, no one can their voice, no matter how much they try to speak no one listens. And then I meet people holding high positions with tremendous voice but no understanding for the issues at hand. Why this happens is because we don’t respect knowledge.
And it does not matter how much wisdom you have.. you mean nothing.. This is the tragedy of India.. Why is our youth angry.. why are they out on the street.. They are angry because they are alienated… They are excluded from the political class. They watch from the sidelines.. as the powerful drive around in their Lal Battis… Why are the women suffering.. because their voice is being trampled upon by people who have arbitrary powers over their lives. Why are the poor confined to powerlessness and poverty.. because decision the decision over their lives.. and the services they need… are decided by people far away, answerable to them only in theory.. until we start to respect and empower people for knowledge and understand, we cant change anything in this country… All our public systems, administration.. justice… education.. political systems.. all of them… are designed to keep people with knowledge out.. They are all closed systems.. They are designed to promote mediocrity… and mediocrity dominates.. mediocrity dominates discussion while the voice of insight and thought are crushed by loudness of those who have neither the understanding nor compassion.. success in these systems does not come through building… it comes by excluding.. it comes not by pushing people forward… but by holding people back…
To maintain the status quo. We do not praise our collegues or look at their strength and all of us every single of one us does it. We won’t praise other people. We ask them bahiya what is your weakness. We only look out the way to neutralize them and every single day all of us a face with the hypocrisy of the system.
People who are corrupt stand up and talk about eradicating corruption… and then people who disrespect women everyday over day of their life… talk about women rights. Until we start to respect the empowered people for their knowledge , for their understanding we are never going to change this country . We need the Aam Admi to participate in our politics . Even when as I speak their future is decided in the disclosed room . There is an young and impatient India and it is demanding the voice in the nation future. Let me tell you they are not going to watch silently .Our priorities are clear . The time has come to question the centralized on responsive and on accountable system, decision making and governance, administration and politics . The
answer not to people say we need to run the system better.. The answer is not in running this system better.
We have to relook at things in system and we have to transform them completely… yet I am optimistic, I am not pessimistic, and I am going to tell you why I am optimistic I am optimistic because we have already put the building blocks of the revolution in place, and to a big degree I would like to thank the Congress President, the Prime minister and the Congress party for putting these building blocks in place. Let me tell you what these building blocks are, first of all India is more connected today than it is ever being, we have the networks of roads, information, communication, people and media for new idea to immerge for them to develop and take flight. It is no longer possible to limit an idea whose time has come. Aadhar, let me speak about Aadhar, it gives us unprecedental mechanism to recognize the unique journey of aspiration of every single India no matter where he is. Direct cash transfer, is going to allow us to respondus these dreams with an empowering delivering system. My father use to speak about 15 paisa to the rupee reaching the people and we today are preparing the system that is going to answer that question, we are going to answer that question and 99% of people need money can go to them, it is a revolution, it is a revolution and no other country has done it and we are preparing that revolution.
Congress is giving the people they due, is now called bribing the country , they say because they scared , they understand what kinds terms they can do , and most important they can’t understand for people in the Congress party , what the thinking in the Congress party , Panchayati Raj and women self have improvement , they given the platform for democracy the balance of national decisions…..must shift away to Delhi and the state capitals to the panchayat and to the world and Congress Party must continued to way to eventual battle to overcome social presidium and discrimination against women, dalit , minorities and tribes I amoptimistic because of the buildings block ….. but am most optimistic and excited because I see the energy, the passion and capability in our youth , bringing to respond to their urgent demand for jobs now, our institutions , learning and training must first informed us to repairing youth in scales for best jobs in scale for the best job in the world , equally decisions that matter to creating jobs need to be further liberated irrational red tape and outdated laws. So that the tremendous energy of India youth will be fully unleashed.
This morning I got up at night, 4 O’clock in the morning I got out into the balcony I thought “Now you have a big responsibility in front of you and this people are standing behind you, people are standing on your side.” It was dark and it was cold and I had decided I am not going to tell you only what you wanted to hear, I decided I goanna tell you little bit about what I feel, I want tell you about hope, and also want to tell you about power.
When I was a little boy I love to play badminton. I loved it because it gives me balance in a complicated world. I was taught how to play in my grandmother’s house by two police men who protected my grandmother. They were my friends, then one day they killed my grandmother and took way the balance in my life. I felt pain that I never felt before and many of us have experienced this so you will understand what I am saying.
My father was in Bengal and he came back the hospital was dark green and dirty. And there was a huge crowd screaming outside they were very angry and as we entered they were screaming and shouting. It was the first time in my life that I saw my father was crying, he was the bravest person I knew and yet I saw him crying.
I was small but I could see my father was broken, he had taken away his mother and he was broken. In those days our country wasn’t what it is today. In the eyes of the world we had nothing. We wre worthless. We didn’t have money, we didn’t have cars, everybody said were were a poor country. Nobody thought about us. Same evening I was my father addressing the nation on television. I knew like me he was broken inside and even like me he was terrified of what lay in front of him but when he spoke that night I felt the small glimmer of hope. It was like a small ray of light in a dark sky. I can still remember what it felt like. If you think back lot of you will also remember this. The next day I realized that many people had seen it. Today as I look back and I has a political career of 8 years in 42 years I can see it was a small ray of hope in the darkness that helped changed India into what I is today. Without hope you can not achieve anything. You can have plans, you can have ideas, but unless you have hope you can not
change anything. I want to talk to you about power.
Last night every single one of you congratulated me, many of you came and hugged me and congratulated me. Everybody congratulated me but last night my mother came to my room and she cried, why did she cried? she cried because she understand that the power so many people seek its actually a poison she can see it , what it does to a people around and to the people they love but the most important that she can see it , she not attached to it , the only anti poked to this poison is for all of us to see it for what it is really is and not become attached to it , we should not chased power for attribute to some power , we should only use it to empower voices. In our work it is my mother experience for the life time it is my experience for 8 years and am sure many of you to deal with power every day , understand what I am saying and realize the positive and the negative, and we must not forget that there is negative, that you have to be very careful when you doing administer power , when you use power , today India is not like what it was in 1984. We are no longer worthless.
Today the entire world is coating us today we are the future and as I said before nations are not build on scheme and finance. There is a foundation of hope. I am standing here because I believe that congress party is the symbol of this hope and as party has the potential to embody here. I like to end again by saying that for me the congress party is now my life. The people of India my life and I will fight for the people of India and for this party. I will fight with everything I have and I invite all of you to stand up and take on this fight.