Rahul Gandhi addresses India Inc at CII meet: Highlights

Rahul Gandhi addresses India Inc at CII meet: Highlights

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New Delhi:  Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today addressed top industrialists at a gathering of the Confederation of Indian Industry in New Delhi. Here are the highlights:

  • It is an honour for me to be here today
  • A hundred years ago, India was an energy, a force
  • As the energy moved from India and goes abroad, you are the cutting edge, you are the people who tell the world what this is about
  • Huge part of what India is, is due to you
  • Industry has done a tremendous job in last few years
  • India is bursting with dreams, brave ideas
  • When I went to college in 1991, people asked me if elephants walked on the streets of India.... No one asks that now
  • As we talk here a billion people are breaking their shackles
  • We are sitting on an unstoppable tide of human aspiration
  • We need to use energy generated by movement of people and ideas and help everybody
  • Govt alone cannot build infrastructure
  • Millions of youngsters are everyday struggling with optimism
  • A billion people are breaking their shackles, taking their place under the sun
  • Today we are mortgaging our future because large part of our education and training is based on defunct ideas
  • Our problem is the lack of training and skills
  • Why is it that degree from Harvard costs the same as much as capitation fee of a medical college in Lucknow?
  • For the young difference between aspiration and empowerment is a job
  • You are the people who will take the lead in creation of jobs - what the govt can do is improve the playing field
  • What is it that we should worry about ? the biggest danger is excluding people - women, the minorities, dalits, tribals
  • Our economic vision must be more than money, it must be about compassion. Embracing the excluded is essential
  • India has grown faster under UPA because we have greatly lowered tensions between communities and made growth inclusive
  • India will move forward with inclusive growth that embraces everyone
  • Inclusive growth is a win-win for everybody
  • There are some problems that need exponential solutions; whenever India has done well it has done so not by incremental change but by radically altering structures
  • I invite business to unleash entrepreneurship, jobs and skills
  • We are readying ourselves for a new political architecture
  • I have come here to forge a long-term partnership with you to take this country forward
    India cannot go forward without working together
  • Let us build brave new empowered India together (Rate his speech here)

Q&A session begins:

On Centre-state relationship:

  • I am an MP and I get Rs 5 crore
  • I have 700 pradhans who work with me - each one of them is working with a couple of cr
  • I have power to make policy, he has tremendous power at the local level - and what he is saying is this system is too closed
  • That is the pressure that is driving MNREGA, etc
  • It is a devolution of power problem, not a state-Centre problem
  • Our political parties are designed for MPs and MLAs and not pradhans
  • But he is going to solve problems
  • We need to build architecture
  • The stricture currently is totally disconnected from political system
  • We have to absorb these guys
  • Higher level policies dealt with MPs and MLAs, while lower level for pradhans (Read: India Inc, others on Rahul Gandhi's address)

On water problem:

  • We need to move to a structure to deliver these voices, we need institutional structures
  • 50 years ago it could have been done without a structure... the political parties are not responding to the structure 
  • If we open up the value-chain most of the problems will be solved
  • Large number of problems can be fixed by people at lower levels; that is what I am trying to fix in the Congress
  • Give one individual all the power and he can't solve the problems of a billion people
  • It can't be about one person, it has to be about voice of people
  • Give one billion people power and the problems will be solved
  • If you expect Manmohan Singhji or anyone else to solve everything, you can keep expecting
  • I am one out of a billion Indians
  • Our power will only come when we channel that river of Indian people
  • Then we will be sitting on monsters which cannot be imagined
  • You open up the voice of the Indian people and you see what comes out
  • China is a 'dragon', people call us an 'elephant' but we aren't, we are a 'beehive'. (Read) We have to understand where our power comes from
  • We are much more powerful than we think, we don't apply it in a centralised way
  • People doing yoga in New York or Big B in nightclub in Spain is our power
  • Indians are always complaining because we are dealing with complexity. In China, there is no complexity
  • Our environment is not simple, we can't give you simple answers
  • All of you are masters of complexity
  • Clogged political system is holding India back
  • All this complexity is good training
  • If you can do it here, you can do it on the moon
  • This has been a good experience, I should do this more often
  • It is an accident of fate that I come from a chain of people
  • You get a tag in India - he only cares about only poor people, or Dalits, or rich people
  • But these tags are just pieces of paper
  • I have been told - Boss here you are... we have to move away from  the idea of the guy on the horse who is going to come charging through and India is going to be fixed. It's not.
  • I want to help Indian people

Takes a dig a 'No Biharis' in Mumbai

  • We have to take everybody together
  • Our idea is so big that it can carry not only India but everyone else
  • The idea is compassion - it is just listening to what the other person is saying
  • Don't put labels, just go out a listen
  • I am proud to be an Indian, I love this complexity - drives me crazy

On becoming Prime Minister:

  • When you getting married, when you going to be PM (Makes fun of polls)
  • These are irrelevant questions... this is all smoke (Read)
  • The only relevant question is how can we give people a voice
  • I promise to come back
  • You're the cutting edge of the 21st century
  • World used to talk of Hindu rate of growth
  • Now the Hindu rate of growth is the European rate of growth
  • That's not a good thing, that's a bad thing

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