Rahul Gandhi, president of the American opposition party, calls on Americans to defend democracy.

Rahul Gandhi is calling for Indians in the United States and back home to stand up for democracy and the country's constitution. Gandhi was expelled from India's Parliament.

In a Sunday speech, Indian opposition leader Rahul urged Indians to defend democracy and the Indian Constitution in the U.S. as well as at home.

Gandhi, a critic of Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi, who was expelled by the Parliament, accused Modi, and his Bharativajanata Party (BJP), of dividing India and not focusing on important issues like unemployment , and education.

“To be rude to people, arrogant or violent is not Indian,” Gandhi told the crowd of 700 people at the Indian Overseas Congress USA at the Jacob Javits Center, Manhattan. He spoke after a moment of silence to recognize a massive derailment that occurred in eastern India, which killed 275 and injured hundreds.

Gandhi is currently on a three city tour in the United States. He has spoken at Stanford University, California, and the National Press Club, Washington D.C.


Modi has been invited to speak at a Joint Meeting of Congress in the United States later this month by congressional leaders. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer, among other leaders, announced that the address would be an “opportunity for you to share your vision of India’s future as well as speak about the global challenges we both face.”

Rahul Gandhi, grandson of former Indian Prime minister Indira Gandhi and a member the Indian National Congress Party, is Rahul’s grandfather. He is considered Modi’s biggest challenger for the 2024 elections.

Indian politician Rahul Ahmed speaks at the Javits Center in New York on June 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Andres Kupacki)

“Modern India can’t exist without our Constitution and our Democracy,” he said on Sunday. He called for a stronger relationship between India and the U.S. in order to counter China’s influence.


He said that one of the things to consider is the bridge between India, the United States. He asked: “How can we meet the challenge that the Chinese are putting on the table?” he cited specifically issues such as mobility and energy.

In recent state elections, the Congress Party won against the BJP. This victory came after a string of defeats in state elections after Modi was elected India’s Prime Minister in 2014. Gandhi no longer holds an official position within his party. After his defeats in the 2019 national elections by Modi’s Hindu Nationalist Party, he gave up his post as party president. His supporters, however, hope that the recent results of the elections will have an impact on the 2024 elections.

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In March, Gandhi was expelled from the parliament after a court found him guilty of criminal defamation for making fun of Modi’s last name. If an appeals court does not overturn the conviction, he could lose his eligibility for eight years to run for a seat in parliament. The conviction was in relation to a speech that he made in 2019.

Gandhi, who was not related to Mahatma Gandhi but praised his non-violent model, used the name of the Indian leader several times in his speech.

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