Rahul uses tact to tackle Wikileaks

Rahul Gandhi in a pensive mood. PTI

Sidestepping any talk on the recent WIkiLeak cable that alleged him talking about saffron terror being deadlier than the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba, Rahul found topic for his talk in his mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s just-concluded speech on how the party had tackled allegations of corruption in its fold.

“Whatever the Congress president has said on the issue has given us inspiration to fight corruption. We require accountability.... Severe punishment should be given to the corrupt,” he said. Even while talking about corruption, Rahul did not mention of the 2G spectrum scam, the Commonwealth Games mess or the Adarsh housing scandal but prefaced his remarks by noting that a number of issues relating to corruption had surfaced recently.

Rahul then linked corruption and the common man or in Congress parlance, the “aam aadmi”, saying the menace snatched common man’s opportunity to progress. For the next few minutes, the Congress general secretary defined “aam aadmi”, saying “the “aam aadmi” in India is that person who does not have a connection to the system.”

“The “aam aadmi” in India could be a tribal in Niyamgiri, a Dalit boy in Jharkhand made to sit in the last bench, a widow in Vidharbha, a farmer in Aligarh who does not get the right price for his crop and a professional in Bangalore who doesn’t get admission in a good school as he doesn’t have the right connections.”

His mother Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh all ears, Rahul then stepped into his favourite area—youth and its participation in the political system. He also called for an open economy as in today’s globalised world, a closed economy will never provide each Indian with an opportunity. “An open and connected economic system is the only means of delivering opportunity to each Indian,” he said.

Noting that “one of the greatest challenges before us is to make education accessible to the poorest of the poor”, he said our schools and universities need to work as a network connected to jobs, research and development and the society at large.

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