On the eve of the anniversary of his grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi's demise, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi yesterday (30 October) released a video elucidating the purpose behind his recent visit to the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
In the video, he also took aim at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), asserting that while they may wield power, he stands armed with the truth.
In early October, Rahul Gandhi undertook a pilgrimage to the Golden Temple, where he devoted more than two days to immerse himself in the sanctity of the Sikh shrine.
During his visit, he actively engaged in 'seva', or volunteer service, alongside fellow devotees.
In the video, available on his YouTube channel, Rahul Gandhi addressed the questions that arose regarding his intentions during his 'seva' at the temple.
He expounded on the profound principles underlying this act of service, emphasising the importance of contributing to society and striving to minimise the divisive forces of ego, self-centredness, hatred, and violence.
He underscored the communal aspect of 'seva' highlighting its capacity to challenge individualistic notions and foster affection and respect among people from diverse religious backgrounds.
Rahul Gandhi recounted his prior visits to the Golden Temple, where he had merely paid obeisance and sat in reflection.
However, this time, as he actively participated in 'seva', he found that it transformed his experience, leading him to a deeper understanding of the spiritual and social significance of the Golden Temple.
Drawing attention to the prevailing atmosphere of division and animosity in contemporary Indian society, Rahul Gandhi invoked historical figures like Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, as exemplars whose wisdom should guide the nation toward a more harmonious path.
He lamented the collective failure to recognise India's rich heritage and the profound ideals it can offer the world.
Rahul Gandhi emphasised that wisdom is not measured by intelligence or cleverness but by one's commitment to truth.
Drawing parallels with luminaries such as Guru Nanak, Mahatma Gandhi, and Buddha, he emphasised that their power lay in their proximity to truth, rather than in wealth or force.
In a direct critique of the RSS and the BJP, Rahul Gandhi contended that force is inherently deceptive, while true power emanates from the pursuit of truth.
He acknowledged that in terms of sheer force, he stands in the shadow of the BJP and RSS, which control the Indian government and wield significant institutional authority.
Nevertheless, he asserted that his strength lies in his unwavering commitment to the truth, a force that transcends the trappings of power. He encouraged the youth of India to discern this distinction.
Although Rahul Gandhi had remained silent regarding his visit, it is evident that this pilgrimage signifies his ongoing effort to grapple with the historical traumas associated with the Golden Temple.
In 1984, his grandmother, Indira Gandhi, ordered the military operation to remove militants led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale from the Golden Temple.
This operation ultimately led to her assassination by her Sikh bodyguards and the ensuing anti-Sikh riots.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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