Badanavalu: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary and said while it is convenient for those in power to appropriate the legacy of the Father of the Nation, it is difficult to walk in his footsteps.
Gandhi, who visited a Khadi Gramodyog Kendra in Badanavalu, Karnataka, that the Mahatma had visited in 1927 and 1932, said the ideology that killed the freedom fighter had delivered inequality and divisiveness in the last eight years.
He also participated in a prayer meeting and interacted with weavers at the centre. Later, he visited Badanavalu village, near Mysuru, and met the villagers besides doing ‘shramdaan’ (voluntary work) by laying a pavement.
The former Congress chief also painted the tricolour with children. “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 padayatra in which we are walking his path of ahimsa, unity, equality and justice,” he said in a statement.
“Just as Gandhiji fought the British Raj, we ... [have] 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. “Against this politics of himsa (violence) and asatya (lies), the Bharat Jodo Yatra will spread the message of ahimsa and swaraj from Kanyakumarito Kashmir,” he said, adding swaraj had different meanings.
“It is the freedom of our states to exercise their constitutional freedoms and of our villages to practice Panchayati Raj.”
Gandhi said the Congress’ yatra was the quiet and determined voice of Indians against the politics of fear, hatred and division. “It might be convenient for those in power to appropriate Gandhiji’s legacy, butitis much more difficultto walk in his footsteps,” he said.
The Wayanad MP said a huge number of men, women and children had taken partin the yatra so far and many of them believed that their constitutional rights and the values that Gandhi gave his life for were under threat today. Gandhi reached Gundlupet in Karnataka on September 30 from Gudalur in neighbouring Tamil Nadu. He will cover a distance of 511 kilometres in Karnataka over the next 21 days.