Rahul Gandhi. Photo: ANI
New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said it is the duty of every Indian living around the world to protect India's democracy.
"It is the duty of every Indian, everywhere in the world, to speak up for India's core values and protect our beloved democracy," tweeted Rahul Gandhi.
The Congress MP, who is visiting the UK, criticised the Centre alleging that an attack has been unleashed on the basic structure of Indian democracy.
Rahul Gandhi in an interaction at the Chatham House in London termed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) a "fundamentalist" and "fascist" organisation alleging that it has captured pretty much all of India's institutions.
He said, "The nature of democratic contest in India has completely changed and the reason is that one organisation called RSS - a fundamentalist, fascist organisation has basically captured pretty much all of India's institutions."
Rahul Gandhi further said Europe and the US are not doing enough to restore democracy in India as they are getting trade and money from the country. "Why Europe and the US - the defenders of democracies were oblivious of how a huge chunk of democracy in India has come undone?" he questioned.
The Congress leader also mentioned how the various institutions in the country were under threat.
"It shocked me how successful they have been at capturing the different institutions of our country. Press, Judiciary, Parliament, and Election Commission are all under threat and are controlled in one way or the other," Rahul Gandhi said.
"You can ask any Opposition leader as to how agencies are used. My phone had Pegasus on it, which was not happening when we were in power," he added.
The Congress MP highlighted the condition of the Dalits and minorities in India.
He said, "In India, you can see what is being done to Dalits, tribals, and minorities. It is not that Congress is saying it. There are articles in the foreign press all the time that there is a serious problem with Indian democracy."
After Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's statement in the UK where he sought the intervention of the US and Europe to restore democracy in India, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit out at the Wayanad MP alleging him of shaming and mocking the country and its people from a foreign land.Addressing a press conference, senior BJP leader and former union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "It's utterly shameful that Rahul Gandhi, from a foreign land, has tried to hurt the spirits of India's consensus on the subject that no foreign country must intervene in India's internal affairs."
Prasad urged Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and party president Mallikarjun Kharge to clear the party's stand over Rahul Gandhi's statement in which he sought America and Europe's interference to restore democracy in India.
The BJP MP said Rahul Gandhi has sought to shame India's Democracy from a foreign land."Rahul Gandhi through his lectures in London has made a mockery of India's polity, Parliament, judicial system, strategic security and its people. We ask Congress president Kharge if you feel that you are an elected president of Congress, do you support this irresponsible and shameful comment of Rahul Gandhi that 'America and Europe must intervene in India to restore democracy'? If you do not support Rahul Gandhi's statement, then disown it," stated Ravi Shankar Prasad.
The BJP alleged that Rahul Gandhi is under the influence of "anarchist and Maoist elements".
In reference to former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Prasad questioned, "Sonia Gandhi Ji, BJP would like to urge you to make your stand very clear - where do you stand in the face of this utterly irresponsible statement of your son asking for interference by America and Europe to restore democracy in India?"
The BJP leader termed Rahul Gandhi's remark as an "utterly irresponsible statement" and "shameful".
"Rahul Gandhi ji, you stop insulting India on foreign soil. If the country defeats you, again and again, do not take out its anger by going abroad," added Prasad.
Countering the Wayanad MP's remarks on RSS, Prasad said, "Sangh has done a great service for the nation. It is dedicated to the nation. Nehru ji used to criticize Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Indira ji also used to criticize, Rajiv ji also used to criticize and Rahul ji also used to criticize RSS. Now see, where did the Sangh reach and where did you end up?