Rajiv Gandhi: On the occasion of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi remarked that the present government is characterized by people propagating divisive and prejudiced politics. She highlighted that the former Prime Minister recognised the importance of nurturing India’s unity through the celebration of its religious and cultural diversity.
On Sunday, during the event where she was presenting the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award on the birth anniversary of the former prime minister, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi strongly criticized the central government. In her address, she stated, “Forces promoting the politics of separation, hatred, bigotry, partisanship are in power today.”
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What did Sonia Gandhi say?
Sonia Gandhi emphasized that the award is bestowed upon individuals and institutions that have undertaken exceptional efforts to foster peace, communal harmony, and national integration. She further underlined the significance of these endeavors in the present time, particularly when there are active “forces promoting the politics of hatred.”
Speaking on Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure, Sonia Gandhi said, “Rajiv Gandhi’s political life ended in a very cruel way but in the short time he got to serve the country, he achieved countless achievements. He was a supporter of the protection and conservation of the diversity present in India. It is clear from his personal and political legacy that he was very sensitive to the fact that India’s unity can be strengthened only by celebrating the country’s religious, ethnic, language and cultural diversity.”
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Mallikarjun Kharge speaks on Rajiv Gandhi
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge also highlighted that Rajiv Gandhi vehemently opposed all forms of communalism. During his speech at the event, Kharge recounted how Gandhi had urged the then chief minister of Andhra Pradesh to resign on ethical grounds in the wake of riots. Kharge also underscored that Rajiv Gandhi actively engaged with tribal communities to address their concerns and develop plans tailored to the ground reality.
Sonia Gandhi further emphasized that Rajiv Gandhi was resolutely committed to women’s empowerment. She highlighted his advocacy for one-third reservation for women in panchayats and municipalities, demonstrating his dedication to gender equality. She also noted that in the 1989 parliamentary elections, a historic step was taken by granting voting rights to 18-year-olds, with half of them being women.
The Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award for 2020-21 was presented to Banasthali Vidyapith, a women’s residential institution in Rajasthan. Sonia Gandhi lauded the institution’s adherence to Rajiv Gandhi’s principles and ideas, highlighting its distinguished history of women’s education.
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