It was a rare coincidence as PM Modi and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi both spoke simultaneously during Parliament’s Winter Session. Though the TV channels were in a quandary, they ultimately cut across live to the Prime Minister’s speech.
Statements by Modi:
Everyone welcomes Babasaheb Ambedkar’s 125th anniversary celebrations. We do not claim that this was our idea. The nation cannot ignore his exemplary contribution.
Our constitution is a social document; it is not about the laws only. We admire this about the document. The constitution guides us forward. In a democratic country like India, it is our source of inspiration.
Pandit Nehru had spoken how the effectiveness of the constitution depended upon both houses cooperating mutually.
Our founding fathers must be honoured. Their vision must be respected. We need to introspect and raise our levels far ahead.
People in South think we impose Hindi on them. Can we ask 36 states to organise Kerala Mahotsav next year. And in Chhattisgarh, we teach Malayam alphabets. Later, why not a Malayalam festival in Chhattisgarh. Similarly, one state connects to another state. If we can do this slowly, we can stay united. We have to imbibe that feeling of being one.
Statements by Rahul:
VK Singh challenged constitution by comparing Dalits to Dogs, & our PM allowed him to continue as a Minister. Our PM has let a man like that (VK Singh) continue as a Minister.
For me what was heroic about the people PM Modi mentioned was their ability to listen to the people of India. They are my heroes not because they had all the answers but because they had the humility to ask the right questions.
I listened to the PM talk about our constitution a few days ago in the parliament. PM mentioned Gandhiji, he praised Ambedkarji, he spoke about the contribution of Rajendra Prasadji & Sardar Vallabhai Patelji. PM even had a couple of words for Nehru. While I listened to his speech, I could see how profoundly we differ in our thinking. For me the real authors of the constitution were people PM did not talk much about. They are the people of India.
Constitution gives all Indians fundamental rights. All of us here swore an oath to protect these rights for each one of our citizens. Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi are killed by fanatics, and our Prime Minister has nothing to say. A Muslim man is killed in cold blood. The man ultimately responsible for his protection, the PM, remained silent.
Govt talks of "Skill India", but when FTII students complain of a mediocre head their voice is crushed, today in India protest means sedition. The best writers and artists in the country return their awards in protest, and the PM is not even bothered to speak to them.