Rahul Gandhi posing
with students at MANIT in Bhopal
Circular asking students to attend Rahul Gandhi rally withdrawn:
The Goa University Monday withdrew - within four hours of issuing it
- a circular appealing to students to attend Congress general
secretary Rahul Gandhi’s student rally Tuesday after the Bharatiya
Janata Party’s (BJP) student wing protested on the campus.......Read
The Indian Prime Minister in the making Rahul Gandhi trying to
establish a live contact with the masses of all hues visited Madhya
Pradesh on Monday to have a direct contact with youth. He visited
Gwalior, Sagar, Jabalpur and then state capital Bhopal and
inter-acted with students to instill and infuse in them their role
in India’s development in today’s era after they finish their
studies and take up the place in society.
At Bhopal while inter-acting with the
students of Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT),
on the issue of reservation Rahul Gandhi, who is All India Congress
Committee (AICC), general secretary, responded that the paucity of
institutions and not reservation was the main issue in India. He
seemed to be in favour of having a multitude of institutes in the
country so that there was no shortage of seats. He said that there
should adequate number of quality institutes so that maximum number
of students got good education.
“There is no point in discussing
reservation, when we do not have enough seats in good institutes to
offer,” he observed. Opening up education sector to willing private
parties with no commercial interests is necessary for this purpose,
The issue of brain drain dominated the
conversation, and Rahul Gandhi’s take on the subject was that
‘India’ was not only a geographical concept, but an ideology as
well. The notion of an Indian remaining an Indian even when on
foreign soil evoked a new line of thought.
When asked why the government was soft
on attacks on Indians, mostly of whom are students, in Australia,
Gandhi responded by saying that breaking diplomatic ties with
Australia on this matter would come at a great cost, and would be a
very unwise decision.
He questioned with a humorous touch
that when Indians were beaten up in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and
other parts of India on a daily basis no one had anything to say in
On being asked how technocrats could
help the nation on a scale that politicians do, he cited the example
of Nandan Nilenkani, co-founder and head of Infosys, India’s largest
IT services company.
The Congress leader said not only was
Nilenkani one of the nation’s greatest technocrat but was also
associated with the UID (Unique Identity Authority) project, which
is going to be a landmark in India.
Rahul Gandhi mentioned that after
democratizing the internal system of Youth Congress and National
Students’ Union of India, the membership of these fronts had
“During the last one and half years,
the cadre has grown from 35,00 t0 3.5 lakh in Punjab, from 40,000 to
7.5 lakh in Gujarat and grown by 40 times to swell to 15 lakh in
Tami Nadu,” he revealed to showcase the success of his endeavours to
attract youth to the Congress fold.
Overall the vibe in the auditorium was
quite lively, with Rahul’s candid words adding to the enthusiasm.
The students seemed to be more than content to talk directly to a
national leader and discuss their role in India’s future.
The Dr. S. Radhakrishnan Student
Activity Centre in MANIT was abuzz with Rahul Gandhi’s arrival. He
was quite encouraging in his words and urged the students to rise up
to the task of leading India to greater heights. His address was met
with great vigour from the students, who also felt the sense of
responsibility towards the nation. The students present in the
auditorium were quite upbeat in discussing various national issues
and posed tough questions to the young leader, who in turn did not
disappoint them with politically correct answers.
Rahul Gandhi was greeted by a huge
applause to which he quoted :”It takes me about 30 seconds to tell
whether it is a dynamic crowd or not, and I can tell that you are a
bright dynamic group”.
He started off by informing the
students about the ways they can enter mainstream politics. He
criticized political institutions on their nominating of candidates
rather than democratically electing them within the party. According
to him it was ironic that this was prevalent in such a great
democracy as that of India. He also pointed out that politics today
was a closed caucus.
At the outset the MANIT’s Chairman
Board of Governors A. N. Singh welcomed Rahul Gandhi with a bouquet
of flowers. The members of Board of Governors Er. Khalid Rauf and Er.
Vipin Mullick (both being ex-students of MANIT) were specially
present on the occasion. The MANIT Director Dr. R.P. Singh
supervised the entire programme.
Rahul Gandhi was accompanied by Madhya
Pradesh Congress Committee president Suresh Pachauri, Mandsaur
Member of Parliament Meenakshi Natarajan and AICC general secretary
B. K. Hariprasad..
Meanwhile, at Gwalior according to
media reports Rahul Gandhi said for betterment of the country’s
political system it was necessary that elections continue to be
conducted impartially and leadership was not imposed but evolves
Stressing on impartial polls, he
reportedly said: “the Congress itself has made a beginning through
its youth organizations the National Students’ Union of India and
Youth Congress. In Punjab, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, the elections to
the party’s youth units were supervised by former Chief Election
Commissioner James Michael Lyngdoh and the results were fantastic,”
he averred. Claiming that the clean and transparent polls not only
led to a spurt in these organizations’ membership, but he added that
other political parties -- including the Akali Dal -- were also
leaning towards such a system.
In the question-answer session, Gandhi
admitted that the educational system not being employment-oriented
was a challenge that needs to be addressed.