NEW DELHI, Aug 18: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday called for listening to the voice of an
Indian man whose pain and challenges he said are far removed from the mainstream debate.
Gandhi’s call came in a post on X in which he shared a video of his interaction with Rameshwar, a
vegetable vendor who recently met the former Congress chief weeks after a clip of him breaking
down while talking about his hardships due to inflation had gone viral on social media.
Sharing the video of his interaction, Gandhi said, “Rameshwar ji is the voice of an India whose pain,
issues and challenges are far removed from the mainstream debate today.”
“It is the moral responsibility of all of us to listen to the voice of that India and help in fighting those
struggles,” the former Congress chief said.
In the video, Rameshwar, ahead of his meeting with Gandhi, says it was “Bharat milaap” or “Sudama
meeting Krishna” and that he was fortunate to have got this opportunity. Rameshwar then visits
Gandhi’s house along with his wife and daughter.
Legend has it that Sudama and Krishna were childhood friends who grew up together. While Krishna
went on to become a king, Sudama led a life of poverty. Their emotional reunion after a long time is
held as an example of true friendship.
In the video, Gandhi is seen asking Rameshwar about his struggles and the vegetable vendor says he
had worked hard but had not got much in return. The vegetable vendor says that all he needed was
someone to share his pain which he got in Gandhi.
The Congress leader also explained to him the party’s proposed income guarantee scheme.
Gandhi says he had gone to the Azadpur Mandi in Delhi to meet Rameshwar after his video had gone
viral but could not find him.
Rameshwar’s family and Gandhi also had lunch together, according to the video of the meeting on
In a statement issued by the Congress, Gandhi said that since the beginning of the Bharat Jodo Yatra,
he has been listening to the people and understanding their sorrows and pains.
“Unexpectedly one day, a video of Rameshwar ji surfaced – a common man, a proud and honest
Indian who wants to support his family with hard work, but his eyes were filled with tears of
helplessness. What to do – on one side there is a deep well of unemployment and on the other side
there is the huge gap of inflation,” Gandhi was quoted as saying.
“Financially poor, but very rich at heart, Rameshwar ji – the smile remained on his face as long as we
interacted…. His courage is actually a golden ray of hope,” Gandhi said of Rameshwar.
“Today, like crores of other Indians, Rameshwar ji stands at the end of the line of progress – a place
with no jobs, no relief from inflation, no true business opportunities and no economic security. Until
all facilities reach them…this journey will not stop. Together we have to fulfil this dream of
freedom!” he said.
In a post in Hindi on X, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said that ever since the Bharat
Jodo Yatra started, the party has been saying that it is not about expressing “mann ki baat” but
listening to people.
“Taking the yatra forward, Rahul Gandhi met Rameshwar ji. It is clear from his words that the
working class, which has put its blood and sweat in the country, does not matter to this government.
“The poor want an ear to speak their mind to and a shoulder for support. This is the aim of the
Bharat Jodo Yatra. We have to restore the broken trust,” he said, sharing a video of Gandhi’s
interaction with the vendor.
Sharing his picture with Rameshwar, Gandhi had earlier said in Hindi on X, “Rameshwar ji is a lively
person! In him, the glimpse of the affable nature of crores of Indians can be seen.”
“Those who move forward with a smile even in adverse circumstances are truly ‘Bharata Bhagya
Vidhata (India’s destiny makers)’,” Gandhi had said.
The Congress also shared their picture on X, earlier known as Twitter, and said, “Rameshwar ji had
expressed his desire to meet the people’s hero. They met up.”
In the viral video which put the spotlight on Rameshwar, the vegetable vendor was seen with his
empty hand-cart, saying that he could not buy tomatoes as the prices were very high.
Asked if he would buy some other vegetables, he said “paise nahin hain” (I do not have money) and
then broke down. The video had gone viral and had been shared by Gandhi as well as several other
Congress leaders to hit out at the government over rising prices. (PTI)