Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi hit out at the government on several issues.while Interacting with B-school students of the prestigious Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) in Mumbai on Saturday,
On a day the government is launching ‘Startup India’- one of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s key programmes, Mr Gandhi linked up startups with perceived intolerance in the country. Gandhi also said that the RSS has a very “rigid vision” for India and that start-ups require free movement of ideas.
“The ruling dispensation, particularly the RSS, has a clear idea on what the world should look like. They have a vision for India which in my opinion is a very rigid vision,” the Congress leader said
“There’s a huge contradiction in saying I want start-ups but I will be intolerant. You will fail on the economy and start-up front if you are intolerant,” he said.
“Startups require an ecosystem where free ideas can flow. If I say you are a woman and your place is in the kitchen, I am curbing your freedom,” he added.
Citing examples, he said the Congress party brought and encouraged a culture of tolerance in the country; people were free to discuss ideas which ultimately culminated in the freedom movement.
To a query on the start-up hype, Gandhi said any start-up requires a whole support system to allow an entrepreneur to grow, with access to finance, freedom from government regulations, infrastructure, etc.
“That’s why it’s considered easier to launch start-ups in states like Maharashtra or Karnataka, but businesses face a huge problem in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar-though some of the most entrepreneurial people come from there,” Gandhi said.
He also charged that the BJP categorizes people. “The BJP has categories: There’s a Hindu for them, a Muslim for them, a woman for them. I don’t categorize. That’s the difference between us and them,” he said. Gandhi urged the students not to put “labels on people, industry or things, as labels are human inventions” and stifle growth.
“Saying this is a Hindu, this is a Muslim, this is a woman…hides values,” he said.
Asked how India could help provide the conductive atmosphere for start-ups, Gandhi said, “Start-ups require a whole set of eco-systems that allows entrepreneurs to grow including infrastructure and regulation. The biggest problem is red tape.”
The real challenge is to create an environment to ensure small businesses can grow. Intolerance and startups can’t go together,” Gandhi said.