Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi has said NRIs can contribute significantly to the nation and even his party. Addressing a 1500-strong gathering of Non-Resident Indians at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square yesterday, he pointed out that Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and BR Ambedkar were at one-time NRIs.
Gandhi spoke about the alleged intolerance since May 2014 when the National Democratic Alliance came to power. "I had many conversations during my (current) trip. Most people were worried about what has happened to the tolerance that used to prevail in India," Gandhi said, alluding to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA. "NRIs have tremendous knowledge and understanding in different fields. I invite you to work with the Congress and discuss the vision forward." On the issue of unemployment, he noted that 30,000 youngsters enter the job market everyday and only 450 of them were employed. 'It is not easy to have jobs to all of them in the current circumstances.' Gandhi said India will have to empower small and medium businesses if it has to produce "millions of jobs." The present situation is that the government lays importance only to 50-60 big business houses. Agriculture and food processing sectors should also be developed in such a way that they are labour-intensive. In a veiled attack on the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress leader said divisive politics is being practiced in India. He said that people around the globe are questioning about the reduction of the tolerance level in our great nation. "For thousands and thousands of years, India has had a reputation of peace and harmony. There are forces dividing India and ruining our reputation abroad. And it is very dangerous for the country," he said. India – not just a geographic entity -- comprises of people of various religions and have lived happily because of Congress and its ideas. "Some people view India as a piece of land, But I view India as a set of ideas, we have many religions, many languages, every one of them living happily, that is due to ideas of Congress," he said. Gandhi said many nations facing violent times are looking towards toward New Delhi, anticipating that India has the answer for peaceful co-existence in the 21st century and that is 'why we cannot afford to lose our most powerful asset.