Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the assassination of his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was the “biggest single educational experience” of his life, stressing that he couldn’t get away from the fact that the event also made him learn things he wanted. I didn’t learn otherwise.
In a conversation with Indian-born academic Dr Shruti Kabila at the prestigious Cambridge University on Monday, he was asked about the anniversary of the death of his father who was killed in a suicide bombing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during an election rally in Tamil Nadu in May 1991.
Dr. Kabila, associate professor in the College of History at Corpus Christi College, asked the opposition MP “Gandhi’s question” about violence and how to live with it on a personal level.
“The biggest educational experience of my life was the death of my father. There is no greater experience than that,” Gandhi said, after several minutes of pause during which the 51-year-old was visibly moved.
“Now, I can look at it and say that the person or force that killed my father caused terrible pain, that’s right, as a son I lost my father and that’s very painful.
“But then I cannot get away from the fact that the same event made me learn things I would never have learned otherwise. So, as long as you are willing to learn, it doesn’t matter how bad or evil it is,” said the conference leader.
Mr. Gandhi went on to relate this to everyday politics, adding, “If I turn around and (Prime Minister) Mr. (Narendra) Modi attacks me, and says ‘Oh my God he’s so evil, he’s attacking me.’ something of it, and give me more.”
When asked if the loss could be rewarding, Gandhi pondered the risks of politics where great energies play a role.
“In life you will always be, especially if you are in places where great energies are moving, you will always get hurt. If you do what I do, you will get hurt. That is not a possibility, it is certain because it is like swimming in an ocean with great waves you will drown. When you sink, you learn to react. of it,” he said.
During the course at Cambridge University, Mr. Gandhi also sent a series of questions from university students who wanted to know how they could participate in making a difference in Indian politics.
The Congress leader said they could join as apprentices with party leaders and then be sent to different parts of India to witness the political action, but urged them to prepare for that.
“It’s hard work, and if you do it right, it’s painful work, it’s not fun work, it’s hard work, and you’ll be beaten,” he said, inviting young people to join.
The interactive session marked the conclusion of Mr Gandhi’s UK tour, which began last week with his session at the Ideas for India conference in London along with other opposition leaders, and meetings with Indian Overseas Congress (UK) workers, British opposition parliamentarians and shadow ministers . .
Rajiv Gandhi, who served as the sixth Prime Minister of India from 1984 to 1989, was assassinated at the age of 46 on the night of May 21, 1991, at a rally in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu state, by a female suicide bomber known as Dhanu. .
Another 14 people, including Danu herself, were also killed in the LTTE terrorist attack.
The assassination may have been the country’s first case of a suicide bombing that killed a prominent leader.
(This story has not been edited by the NDTV crew and is automatically generated from a shared feed.)