In an assurance that will come as soothing to many ears, AICC president Rahul Gandhi has said that the Congress will defend the culture of the local people of the state and their way of thinking.
Interacting with the hosts during the ‘Celebration of Peace’ concert organised at the 5th Polo Ground here on Tuesday evening, Rahul said his message for the youth of Shillong and for young people of the country as whole is that India’s strength lies is its diverse cultures, different languages, and variegated ways of thinking.
“We are strongest when all of us stand together in diversity,” he said, adding that every state, including Meghalaya, has an equal space in India’s dreams and aspirations and no matter how small a state is it has a rightful place in the political and cultural architecture of the country.
“My message is that be proud of your heritage, language, culture and your religion. We stand together to defend your culture and your way of thinking,” he said.
Without naming any individual or political party, Rahul maintained it was important for all to realise that India will be strong only when citizens love and respect each other.
“When we fight and spread hatred, we are not strengthening our country, rather weakening it and disrespecting our people, past and future,” he asserted.
Although he had come to Meghalaya to campaign for the forthcoming elections, Rahul said he didn’t feel as if he was addressing an election rally since he has always received love from the people of the North-East. The Congress president also assured that he would come to Meghalaya for an extended duration later and would travel to different parts of the state to understand the dreams and aspirations of the youths. Wearing a winter jacket and blue denims, Rahul seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the concert. He said he enjoys all kinds of music and likes listening to different genres. Different bands from Shillong performed a variety of numbers at the concert regaling a crowd of around 6000 to 7000. Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, AICC general secretary CP Joshi, Shillong MP Vincent Pala, Ampareen Lyngdoh, David Nongrum and other senior party leaders were present at the event.