In a comment that is sure to spark off a major debate, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has described prominent leaders of India’s freedom struggle as “NRIs” (non-resident Indian). He said that the party was born of an “NRI movement”. “The Congress movement was an NRI movement. Mahatma Gandhi was an NRI, Jawaharlal Nehru came back from England, Ambedkar, Azad, Patel, they were all NRIs,” Rahul said .
According to report by Times of India, the Gandhi scion was addressing a nearly 2,000-strong crowd of the Congress party’s NRI supporters at a meeting in New York during the final leg of his two-week-long tour in the US.
Elaborating on his unconventional view of the nation’s founding fathers, Rahul said, “Every single one of them went to the outside world, saw the outside world, returned to India and used some of the ideas they got and transformed India”.
Rahul said there were thousands of such “NRIs” whose contribution to India is yet to be recognized.
Citing the example of Verghese Kurien, father of the White Revolution, Rahul said he belonged to the category of a non-resident Indian as well.
“One of the biggest successes in India, the milk that most of India drinks, it was a man called Mr Kurien, he was an NRI. He came from the United States and he transformed India… There are thousands of examples that we have not recognised,” he claimed.
Hailing the Indian diaspora in the US, Rahul said just because they’d settled in a foreign land didn’t mean that they did not contribute to the development of their native country , and went on to call them “the backbone” of India.