Congress leader Rahul Gandhi speaks during a rally. File photo
Rahul said, "Just as Gandhiji fought the British Raj, we are today embarked on a battle with the very ideology that killed Gandhi. This ideology has delivered inequality, divisiveness and the erosion of our hard-won freedoms in the past eight years."
He was on his Bharat Jodo Yatra at the Badanavalu Khadi Gramodyaga Kendra in Karnataka that Mahatma Gandhi visited in 1927.
In a statement released to the media on Sunday, Rahul Gandhi said, "We remember and pay our respects to that great son of India. Our remembering is made more poignant by the fact that we are on the 25th day of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, a padyatra in which we are walking his path of ahimsa, unity, equality and justice.
"Against this politics of 'ahimsa' and 'asatya', the Bharat Jodo Yatra will spread the message of Ahimsa and Swaraj from Kanyakumari to Kashmir," he added.
Rahul said, "Swaraj has many meanings. It is the freedom from fear and want that our farmers, youth and small and medium enterprises desire. It is the freedom of our states to exercise their constitutional freedoms and of our villages to practice Panchayati Raj.
"It is also the conquest of the self, whether it is Bharat Yatris who are travelling 3,600 km by foot or the lakhs of citizens who are walking with us for shorter periods.
"The Yatra is the quiet and determined voice of the Indian people against the politics of fear, hatred and division. It might be convenient for those in power to appropriate Gandhiji's legacy, but it is much more difficult to walk in his footsteps.
"Huge numbers of men, women and children have already taken part in the Yatra. Many of them believe that the values that Gandhiji gave his life for and our constitutional rights are today under threat.
"As we continue on our journey from Mysuru to Kashmir, I request my fellow citizens across India to walk with us in the spirit of Ahimsa and Sadbhavana," he said in the statement.
Indo-Asian News Service
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