Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said he was warned that he may be attacked in Kashmir, but people here gave him love.
Addressing a rally at Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium in Srinagar On the concluding of the Bharat Jodo Yatra and continuous snowfall, Rahul said security people had told him to go to Kashmir in a vehicle and not on foot as they were suspecting a grenade attack at the rally.
“When I was coming here security forces told me that I can travel by foot across the country and also in Jammu. 3-4 days back, admin told me that if I go on foot, a grenade would be hurled at me. …I thought to give an opportunity to those who hate me, to change the colour of my white t-shirt to red,” Rahul said.
“My family taught me, and (Mahatama) Gandhi ji taught me to live fearlessly, otherwise, that is not living. But it happened just as I expected, the people of Jammu and Kashmir didn’t give me a hand grenade but only love and hugs with open heart,” the former Congress chief said.
Rahul said the aim of his Yatra is to ensure no deaths happen in any violence.
He said that the Prime Minister and Home Minister have no idea about the violence like him or Kashmiris or security men or Army men who face such tragedies.
Pointing out to the personal tragedies, Rahul recalled the moments when he was informed over phone calls about the assassination of his grandmother Indira Gandhi and father Rajiv Gandhi. He said he the inciters of violence will never understand that pain.
“Those who incite violence – like Modiji, Amit Shahji, the BJP and the RSS – will never understand this pain. The families of CRPF men who were killed in Pulwama (in 2019 suicide attack) will know what that pain is. The people in Kashmir will know about the loss of their loved ones. Families of Army personnel will know about the phone calls which no one wants to receive and the aim of my Bharat Jodo Yatra is to stop such phone calls,” Rahul said.
Rahul again challenged the BJP to undertake a yatra like his in Jammu and Kashmir.
” They will never do it because they are scared,” he said
Rahul said he learned a lot during the foot march of Bharat Jodo Yatra,
“..One day, I had a lot of ankle pain. I thought I have to walk for 6-7 hours more and it will be difficult. But a young girl came running to me and said that she has written something for me and asked me to read it later.. She wrote, ‘I can see your knee is hurting and it shows on your face. I can’t walk with you but I’m walking beside you from my heart because I know you’re walking for me and my future.’ Right at that moment, my pain vanished,” Rahul recalled
Rahul revealed why he wore a t-shirt during the yatra.
He narrated a story of four children whom he met during the Yatra, who were beggars.
“……I hugged them (four children)…They were cold and shivering. Maybe they didn’t have food. I thought that if they’re not wearing jackets or sweaters, I too shouldn’t wear the same…,” Gandhi said.
On this occasion, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said the Bharat Jodo Yatra was not for winning elections but to counter the hate spread by the BJP and the RSS.
Several opposition leaders attended the rally in Srinagar.