Article published in India Life and Times magazine
Allow me to share my real experience and honest thoughts with you. I want to talk from my heart to yours because India- our Bharat- is close to our hearts!
Please accept my plain talk not prepared by professionals. I am a resident of USA for 3 decades and I have the same love and concerns about India like you do.
I have had the opportunity to spend a few days with Rahul Ji and listen to him. First and foremost I tell you truthfully, Rahul Gandhi is NOT what BJP projects him.
I have seen Rahul Ji standing in a queue for a yellow cab outside the JFK airport, carry his own luggage, wear simple clothes that did not have his name screaming from its seems. He is grounded, cultured and raised with universal values that the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, visualized. He is truly genuine and humble- a true gentleman.
Rahul Gandhi is a highly educated man, studied in Ivy League schools. He has vast knowledge about India and world affairs. When he interacted (impromptu) with billionaires and CEOs of Silicon Valley 10 days ago, they were pleasantly surprised. Contrary to what some media has presented him so far, these successful and super brilliant people discovered that Rahul Gandhi is indeedd an intellectual. Most of us were highly impressed that Rahulji is a thinker with revolutionary ideas. I am not just writing it, I witnessed it myself and sharing with you nothing but the truth!
Next day on Sep 11, Rahul Gandhi delivered a historical speech at the world renowned UC Berkeley. After paying homage to 9/11 victims he described how a complex country like India has become an economic power of the world within 70 years despite difficulties of diversity and democracy. Unlike most politicians, he readily agreed to have an unscripted interaction session after his speech with the students and professors of the university. I was again there watching history in the making.
While watching him live answering to the questions, I thought, not only his style of speaking is sophisticated but the content was also of high intellect. By the time the session ended, I could say confidently that Rahul Gandhi is THE most charismatic leader among all the political parties. One had to watch it to believe it!
The professors, students and audience present there applauded him and opined that Rahul Gandhi was most candid and truthful in his answers. I was actually moved by his replies on Indira Gandhi's assassination and the riots afterwards. He touched hearts when he said as a 14 year young boy, he felt he not only lost Grand Ma but also lost a dear friend in the man who shot her. The bodyguard used to play badminton with Rahul Ji. About the Sikh protestors outside the university he said "I am with them. I understand their grievances and I condemn violence against anyone as I am a victim of violence myself."
Rahul lost his own loving father and grandmother to violence. They died for the country.
I'd like you to think how many politicians you know today, whose family has sacrificed more? Rahul Gandhi's family not only gave their lives to our nation, they did work sincerely to build the nation! When freedom fighters and Congress Party won us independence, almost NOTHING was made in India. Now almost EVERYTHING is made in India. We are among top industrialized nations in the world. All the airports, shopping malls, roads, bridges, metro trains, electricity in villages, nuclear power, and satellites are some of the achievements. I humbly ask you to think which leaders and which party did all these? Who built modern India? When we came to America, people thought of India as a country of snake charmers and the poorest nation. Today, India is known as World Economic Power! Please think who brought our Bharat to this position?
You must be feeling the change of India's image in America. Today we proudly say we are Indian Americans. And I am proud of the party that brought us this pride. India is not respected just for being an economic power, it is also respected because of it's democratic values and being a peace loving nation. They admire the education system that produce doctors, engineers and IT professionals who are serving and helping the world! Credit goes to the Congress Party leaders from our first Prime Minister Mr. Pandit Nehru to Dr. Manmohan Singh and Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. Pandit Nehru laid the foundation for building an independent, secular India. He built the IIMs and IITs to produce the brightest in the world. Today Indians studying from thsese institutes are running the biggest companies of the world; from Pepsi to Google and from Master Card to Microsoft.
It is high time that people of India look at the past and realize the contributions of Congress led governments and our party leaders. We cannot afford to keep trusting the party who gave false promises of ‘Achhe Din.’ False promises of 15 lach Rs to every family of India out of the black money recovery. Forget about bringing black money back, their policies rather helped send out tons of black money to Mauritius and with people like Vijay Mallya.
Farmers are committing suicides daily because this government is forcing poor farmers to pay tiny amounts of loans while letting Mallya to flee the country with billions in loans. It proves they enforce laws only on the poor.
Prime Minister Modi’s policies are destroying lives of the innocent people of India. Farmers are committing suicide, women don’t feel safe, children are scared to go to school. It was the biggest failure when 124 innocent people lost their lives in the name of demonetization.
The Prime Minister of any other democratic country would have resigned immediately after causing the deaths of so many. Can you imagine this ever happening in America? More than 124 persons die due to a sudden policy announcement by the Prime Minister and for lack of management by government. Can you imagine the President of the US still staying in power after this kind of horrendous mistake? Forget about resigning, out Prime Minister did not even apologize. It is indeed a shame.
America’s success is built on it’s diversity. Can you imagine what America will be without invaluable contributions of all races and all religions from corporate to space to the industry?. From Wall Street to Main Street we find all kinds of colors in people of this great country.
I ask you all who believe in India and her colors, that a rainbow cannot be painted in saffron color alone. Our Tricolor is our rainbow. So please join us with chin up in Rahul’s mission ahead.
In the end, I urge you to please think and decide;
-Do we want a leader who keeps beating his own drum and uses every opportunity in India and abroad to promote his own name? Or do we want a leader who lives a simple life, works to empower youth and women without beating of drums?
-Do we want a leader who will say and do anything to capture the seat of Prime Minister or do we want a leader who declined the seat offered to him due to his Gandhian beliefs?
-Do we want a typical deceptive hardcore politician, a sweet talker who is too power hungry to empower our youth? Or do you want a charismatic young leader who is not a typical hardcore politician, not power hungry and promotes women and youth. Rahul has a bright vision for a better and strong India to be built on the foundations laid by our great leaders.
Let’s support and join Rahul Gandhi’s crusade for empowering women, youth and farmers of India. We all want a prosperous, secular India. With more solid history than any other party, Congress Party is equipped to deliver under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi!
(Shudh Prakash Singh is the national president of INOC, USA)
Heart to heart: Why Rahul Gandhi? (Shudh Prakash Singh)
Article published in India Life and Times magazine