Congress Vice-President and expected Prime Ministerial candidate, Rahul Gandhi participated in a session on ‘Culture, Deepening Democracy and Most Marginalised Communities’. The gathering was organised by Badri Narayan, a social scientist, in Allahabad on August 6, 2013.
Press covering the event have reported Rahul Gandhi’s expressed opinions. Here they are, verbatim from the reports.
- “I understand the weaknesses of our system. I will try my best to help the people but unless and until the voice of the marginalised comes out from within, nothing can be done.”
- “Poverty is just a state of mind. It does not mean the scarcity of food, money or material things. If one possesses self-confidence, then one can overcome poverty.”
- Self help groups, he said, provide the poor with “self-confidence to overcome poverty”.
Let’s see Congress’ grasp on reality and their claim of bringing lakhs of people above the poverty line.
Party Spokesperson, Raj Babbar asserted that a thali costs only Rs. 12 in some place he knew and Mumbai claiming that the same was true for Delhi. Babbar said this when he was asked to justify the announcement by the Planning Commission that anyone who spends more than Rs. 33 per day in urban areas is above the poverty line. The additional context to the question was that a thali in the Congress Headquarters cost Rs. 62 – almost double of the announced amount.
Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dixit, said that Rs. 600 per month is adequate to buy dal, roti and chawal for a family of five. That works out to 120 rupees per head per month. Drill down further and it comes to Rs. 4 per person per day. Which means one rupee each for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. Dixit was defending the subsidy grant of Rs. 600 announced by Congress.
Congress Vice-President, Rahul Gandhi declared that “Poverty is just a state of mind”.
It looks like the higher they climb in the echelons of Congress, people steadily lose their grasp and understanding of reality. They seem to believe that lowering the poverty line by creating a fairy tale about prices means that Congress had rid the country off the curse of poverty. The reports by international bodies like the UNDP, the World Food programme (WFP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) are totally disregarded. The fact that there are people dying of hunger and children of malnutrition does not register on them. Even the middle-class struggling with rising prices (and increasing feeling that they are going under the poverty line) does not create a blip on the Congress consciousness. Does this mean that life of a Congress member keeps getting subsidised with their climb upwards till it becomes free?
All these public statements and assertions by the politicians are vaguely reminiscent of the 1970s. Indira Gandhi’s slogan then was “Garibi Hatao”. Her subsequent actions led to private mocking by the common man that she actually meant “Garibon ko hatao.”
Going further, grandson Rahul Gandhi has actually wiped out any perceived poverty in India by stating that “Poverty is just a state of mind”.
By Sujata Garimella