Vice President takes veiled dig at Rahul Gandhi

Jagdeep Dhankar
Jagdeep Dhankar. File

New Delhi:Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday took a veiled jibe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his comments in London, saying tarnishing India's image on foreign land should be forbidden.

Addressing an event here after the release of a postage stamp marking the birth anniversary of noted social reformer Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Dhankhar said some Indians in some foreign institutions are scheming to stall the country's growth.

The vice president invoked Swami Dayanand's quote about independence and his resistance to foreign rule and expressed displeasure over the alleged remarks made overseas to tarnish the image of India and its democratic institutions.

"It hurts when some amongst us go to foreign land and tarnish the image of an emerging India. This should be forbidden," he said.

The vice president said a person having faith in India and Indianness will focus on enhancing the country's image and contribute towards it.

"There may be shortcomings, he will think of addressing those shortcomings but criticising on a foreign visit, making comment which are undignified on all parameters, this behaviour is contrary to the views of Swami-ji," Dhankhar said.

During an event in the UK, Rahul Gandhi had alleged that the structures of Indian democracy are under attack and there is a "full-scale assault" on the country's institutions.

Dhankhar said there was a period when institutions were named after a select few and it gave an impression that there was a dearth of great personalities in the country.

"Since ancient times, India has been a land of sages. It has seen many incarnations of God... Ram is not imaginary. Ram for us is part of our civilisation. A reality," Dhankhar asserted.

He said that the slogan of swaraj was given by Swami Dayanand in 1876 which was carried forward by Lokmanya Tilak after which it became a public movement.

The Rajya Sabha chairperson said there are some foreign institutions that are working towards stopping India's growth story.

"Their objective is to stop the pace of growth of India.... Our billionaires, industrialists contribute in crores to trusts established there. I am not saying that they have wrong intent but maybe they have missed it. Due to the contribution of those crores, our own people design a programme that they should be able to tarnish India," he claimed.

The vice president said that those institutions have students and teachers from several countries.

"Why this improper work is done by our own people? Why don't people from other countries do it? It is a matter of great concern. Now there has been a big transformation that such things don't impact India," Dhankhar said.

He said Swami Dayanand wanted Indians to achieve mental freedom.

"Even after Independence we felt that we needed freedom from it. Swami-ji's soul would be happy in this period of Amrit Kaal. The slavery of foreign power has ended," he said.

He said India became the fifth largest economy of the world and, according to economists, it is going to be the third largest by the end of this decade.

The vice president emphasised the need to promote Sanskrit in the country.

"There is no language in the world and no grammar of the kind that Sanskrit possesses. In a way it is the mother of all languages and we cannot let it perish," he said.

Yoga proponent Ramdev said Maharshi Dayanand brought the Vedas to Shudras and women.

He said that Dayanand never compromised on anything wrong and expressed his views against anything he found wrong -- be it among brahmins or in Quran or Bible.

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