Taking a tough emotional move Congress President Rahul Gandhi has said that he and his sister Priyanka Gandhi have “completely forgiven” his father Rajiv Gandhi’s killers.
During an interaction with IIM alumni in Singapore on Sunday, Gandhi replied to a question as if he and his sister Priyanka had forgiven his father’s killers saying, “We were very upset and hurt and for many years we were quite angry. But, somehow, completely… in fact, completely (forgiven).”
Describing his emotions and observations Rahul Gandhi said, “There is a history that when one realises that when these events take place, it’s collision of ideas, forces, confusion. That’s where you get caught. I remember when I saw Mr Prabhakaran on TV lying dead, I got two feelings – one was why they are humiliating this man in this way. ”
“And second was I felt really bad for him and for his kids and I did that because I understood deeply what it meant to be on the other side of that thing. So to me when I see violence regardless of who it is, I know that there is a human being behind that, there is a family behind that, a kid crying behind that. I have been through a lot of pain to get this and it is something I consider very valuable. I find it difficult to hate people, even my sister does,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi’s father and former primeminister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a female suicide bomber of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), led by Prabhakaran, on May 21, 1991 at an election rally in Tamil Nadu. LTTE, considered to be separatists in Sri Lanka were unhappy by Rajiv Gandhi’s government for sending Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF) for supporting Sri Lankan government.
Rahul Gandhi is on a five-day trip to the Southeast Asian countries. He was quoted saying, “We knew that my father was going to die. We knew that my grandmother was going to die. In politics, when you mess with the wrong forces, and if you stand for something, you will die. That’s pretty clear.”
Replying to another question if he thinks he had a privilege life being the son and grandson of former prime ministers, he said, “It depends which side of the coin you are… of course there are a number of privileges where I sit, but I would not say that I haven’t been through a rough ride.”
“I was 14 when my grandmother was assassinated. I used to play badminton with those who killed my grandmother. After that my father was killed. So you live in a particular environment… surrounded by 15 guys from morning noon and night, I don’t thinks that’s a privilege. I think that’s quite a hard thing to deal with,” he said in a video shared by the Congress party on its Twitter handle.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, 47, has spoken about his father’s assassination in the past but so far but declined to talk about his father’s assassins. In 2016, when Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa had proposed to release the seven persons serving a life term, the Congress had strongly objected.