"You got to stop asking your politicians how they are going to do this or that and start asking yourself, how you are going to do it. Because that is how this country is going to move forward," he said.
Gandhi's response came while addressing a gathering here when he was asked how he can help educate illiterate children.
He was chairing a talk on 'Future of the Internet- 1.2 Billion Empowered Indians' by Vice President and Chief Internal Evangelist of Google Vinton G Cerf.
"Can I ask you a counter-question? How you are going to help them? Not as a citizen but as a young Indian, how you are going to help them?," he asked the questioner, a JNU student.
Observing that there are two ways to deal with the problem, Gandhi said, "One way is to think in a rigid way. How we do this in a linear manner and the other way is to think in an exponential way."
"To say that internet is not connected to the eight year old child, you are cutting off a very very powerful avenue. We don't know how it's connected. Let that child, let his aspirations catch fire."
The talk was also attended by Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Forest and Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, architect of Indian telecom revolution Sam Pitroda and Chief of Aadhar card project Nandan Nilekani.
Referring to Pitroda, Gandhi said, "He too could have
looked at it and said we want to provide access to every Indian over telephone and thought about it in a linear fashion. They would have never got that, they would be sitting here right now, still figuring out how to get phones to Indians."
"What they essentially did is that they came out with something called a rural exchange. You must have all seen a PCO and that humble PCO is actually what gave you cell phones in your hands. Because it suddenly opened up the system to millions of people and it did not do so in a linear way. It did that in an exponential way," Gandhi said.
Inaugurating the session, the Congress leader also emphasised on creating IT-based systems and structures which helps the country deal with its several complexities.
Replying to a poser on how many free Aakash tablets have been distributed by the government in the past one year, Gandhi said, "Frankly I am not the person who came up with the Aakash tablet. You need to ask the gentleman who came up with it and you need to ask him that question."
New Delhi: Instead of questioning the politicians as to what they can do for the country, the youth should ask itself what it can do, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi suggested on Tuesday.
First Published: Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 22:09