Rahul Gandhi indulged in religion-based appropriation of some of the hallmark achievements in the history of India on Thursday, while addressing the National Convention of the AICC Minority Department in New Delhi.
Speaking shortly after Congress Lok Sabha MP Sushmita Dev announced that the Congress would be scrapping the Triple Talaq law if it came to power after the 2019 general elections, the Congress president took the stage and attempted to answer a question that nobody was even asking - whether people of minority religions have played a part in the building of India?
"This country belongs to everyone", Rahul Gandhi began, and asked, "Who was the first Education Minister of India? What was his name?" Answering himself, he said, "Maulana Azad", and added, "If you speak of IIT, IIM and the education system of India, you will have to talk about Maulana Azad."
Moving on to India's space programme which is scaling newer heights almost by the month, he hailed Vikram Sarabhai, becoming perhaps the first person in history to speak the name of the iconic scientist and ask, "What was his religion?"
"If you speak of the space program, then who laid the foundation for that? What was his name? Vikram Sarabhai. What was his dharma? - Jain.".
He extended this single-focused highlighting of religions of people who have made invaluable contributions to India to Operation Flood and the White Revolution hailing Verghese Kurien; to the 1971 Indo-Pak War and Field Marshal Manekshaw; and finally, to the 1991 liberalisation of the Indian economy under the Finance Ministership of Dr Manmohan Singh.
"If you speak of the White Revolution, you will have to mention Kurien (though not his first name, apparently). If you speak of 1971, then you will have to talk about Field Marshal Manekshaw. And if you talk of liberalisation and economic growth, then you will have to talk about Manmohan Singh."
Having assembled his pantheon of visionaries and their religions, Rahul Gandhi concluded:
"So our minorities have tried to develop the country with every step and every religion has built this country. This country belongs to all of us.