Amid the controversy between Opposition and ruling BJP over use of word 'Bharat' instead of India, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday has said the BJP government seems to be irritated with name of opposition alliance INDIA.
"In our Constitution, India is defined as 'India that is Bharat- a Union of States'. So, these states have come together to form India or Bharat. The most important thing is that the voice of all the people included in these states is heard loud and clear and no voice is crushed or intimidated," he said in response to a question during his recent interaction with the students and faculty at Sciences Po University in Paris, France.
"The Constitution actually uses both names. The BJP government seems to be irritated with the name of our coalition (I.N.D.I.A). Now, they've decided to change the name of the country.People act in strange ways."
"We could give our coalition a second name as well. I don't think it will solve the purpose, but people act in strange ways.
“There is something deeper that is going on. People who want to change the name of anything are basically trying to deny history. The fact is whether we like it or not, we have a history, we were ruled by the British, we fought the British, we defeated the British,” he said.
The MP from Kerala's Wayanad said, "When you see people on the stage in the INDIA coalition, you must realise that more people from the majority community vote for us than they vote for BJP. Sixty per cent of India votes for us, 40 per cent of India votes for them. So the idea, the majority community is voting for BJP is wrong idea. The majority community actually votes for us."
Gandhi further said, "My experience is that regardless of whether people are poor or rich, they have a sense of what India should be doing, where India should be going. For me, the first step is protecting that voice and making sure that the institutions, the structures that protect the voice are working and are defended."
"When we use words like 'democracy', what we are actually talking about is the voice of the people. And listening effectively to that voice, allowing that voice expression is central to any success. The bedrock of it is the idea that we protect the voice of all our people," he said.
Mahatma Gandhi had said the most important voice is the one that is the last in the line, the parliamentarian said, adding, a nation doing that will succeed.
"So, when you are dealing with a country the size of India, we have to have relationships with multiple different countries. I think it's a simplification to say whose side you are. The blunt answer to that is we are on our own side. As a nation we act in our interest and we do whatever suits us with regards to our interest," Gandhi said on being asked about on whose side is India on international relations.
"For large country like us it becomes very difficult to come up with an answer to that .But, we do have a strong view that voice and democracy are important. Indian people their basic architecture is designed to deal with much more complexity."
On China, the MP said: "Today, the bulk of production, manufacturing, and value addition are done in China. It's a global problem. It's a problem for India, for Europe and for the United States. In my view, there's a problem with the way China has achieved it."
"We need to think about production in a democratic and non-coercive environment. We have to compete with China by giving our people political and economic freedom. So that is the challenge. I don't see it as confrontation with China."
"China is placed on the table, a way of working. I think it is important for India, United States, Europe to place an alternative system, alternative method on the table," he added.
Gandhi on Sunday reached Netherlands. He will hold an interactive session at the Leiden University.