“We should adopt new thinking to promote democratic environment globally” – Rahul Gandhi at Cambridge

Rahul Gandhi, Cambridge
Rahul Gandhi before his speech at Cambridge
Rahul Gandhi, Cambridge
Rahul Gandhi before his speech at Cambridge

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said during his lecture on Tuesday at the University of Cambridge that the anger over shifting of manufacturing from “democratic countries” like India and the US to China needs “urgent attention and dialogue”.

Gandhi spoke at the university’s Judge Business School on the topic “Learning to Listen in the Twenty-First Century,” focusing on the “art of listening” and calling for a new way of thinking to promote a democratic environment globally. When done consistently and diligently, the “art of listening” is “very powerful,” he says.

“We simply cannot afford a world that does not produce under democratic systems. So, we need new ways of thinking about how to produce in a democratic environment versus a coercive environment, as well as a negotiation about it,” he said.

Gandhi’s lecture included the mention of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, the recently-concluded 4,000-km walk led by him through 12 states from September 2022 to January 2023 to draw attention to “prejudice, unemployment and growing inequality in India”.

He described a “yatra” to the MBA students as a journey or pilgrimage in which people “shut themselves down so they can listen to others.”

His lecture also addressed the “two divergent perspectives” of the United States and China since World War II, particularly since the Soviet Union’s demise in 1991.

Gandhi claimed that, in addition to losing manufacturing jobs, the United States had become less open in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, he claims that China “idolises harmony” through organisation centred on the Chinese Communist Party.

Gandhi discussed the “Imperative for a Global Conversation” in the final segment of his lecture, as he knitted the various strands together in a call for a new type of receptiveness to various viewpoints.

Gandhi was introduced to the Cambridge MBA student audience as a member of a “long lineage of global leaders” by Kamal Munir, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cambridge and Professor of Strategy & Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School.

During his week-long visit to the United Kingdom, Gandhi will meet with members of the Indian Overseas Congress (IOC) UK chapter and speak at a “Indian Diaspora Conference” scheduled for the weekend in London.