India witnessing over 4 yrs of 'intolerance', says Rahul in UAE
Dubai: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday praised the UAE for declaring 2019 as the 'Year of Tolerance', saying India on the other hand has been witnessing four-and-a-half years of "intolerance".
Addressing the Indian diaspora at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium here, Gandhi, who is in Dubai on a maiden visit, said he met Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and was impressed by his humility.
"At here (in the UAE), it is the 'Year of Tolerance', but back home (in India), I'm sad to say we have been witnessing intolerance for the last four-and-a-half years," Gandhi said in a veiled attack on the BJP rule at the Centre.
The values that bring together the people of UAE and India are humility and tolerance; tolerance for different ideas, religions and communities, he said in a fiery speech.
"We can never run a country like India believing that only one idea is correct and all other are wrong. Today, my beloved country India is being divided for political reasons," the Congress president said.
Rebuffing allegations that intolerance was rising in the country, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh recently said no nation in the world was as tolerant as India.
"India is the only country in the world where people from various prominent religions co-exist peacefully... They have contributed in making India empowered, self-reliant and prosperous and will continue to do so," Singh had said.
Gandhi said India has been devastated by demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). India is not simply a geographical idea, he said.
"First big challenge is generating employment and we can beat China in this domain. Secondly, our farmers are in trouble and we need second Green Revolution," he told a cheering crowd.
"You come to Dubai, you carry the idea of India in your heart. I want to tell you that till the day I die, my doors, my ears and my heart will always be open for you.
"Every single Indian, irrespective of where they live, is responsible to bring India together once again. We have to say enough," Gandhi said.
He said the Indian workers in the UAE have given their sweat, blood and time for the development of this city and have made Indians of all backgrounds proud.
"Single biggest problem that we face in India today is unemployment. We need to take this head-on. We need to show the rest of the world that not only we can beat unemployment but we can also challenge China.
"When I drive through the UAE, I see your energy, blood and sweat. You have helped build this nation, and I feel proud that you have played your part with dignity, togetherness and tolerance," the Congress president said.
India cannot be strong if it is divided, he said.
"My beloved country is being divided for political reasons and benefits. It is being divided in different religions, communities, the rich and poor.