“It is a priority to participate in the national debate both within Parliament and through other forums in a constant and constructive manner. However, such comment must be offered within India to Indian policymakers. I see no merit or integrity in vocalising internal challenges in an international forum,” Varun said while turning down the invitation.
By saying so he has not only taken a directly opposing stand to his cousin and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who recently spoke at the Cambridge University on critical issues faced by Indian democracy under the Narendra Modi regime, but has in fact refuted the stand taken by the Congress leader and his party.
The ruling BJP has mounted a sharp attack on Rahul Gandhi, for ‘defaming India abroad.’
In his reply, Varun had said, “It is a mark of great honour to be invited to debate at such a prestigious academic platform as the Oxford Union. For an author, public policy commentator and Member of Parliament, participation in such an event is a meaningful contribution towards enabling discourse and dialogue to address and resolve public concerns. While I thank you for this privilege, I must regretfully decline as I believe the chosen topic is not one that offers much scope for debate or dispute.”
“A path that has been laid out and pursued by governments of varied political affiliations over the past 7 decades since Independence… as an elected representative, I see it as my job to strengthen our system by studying and evaluating policy initiatives and offering feedback,” he said, insisting that the debate should be addressed to Indian policymakers and not on international platforms.