Rahul Gandhi pledges long-term ties with J&K youth
Srinagar: Enthused with the wealth of human capital in Kashmir, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Friday pledged to do his bit in building a long-term relationship with the youth of the state and fulfil their aspirations.
Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata said he was feeling very emotional in saying that, "It has been a real step forward to be able to have a conversation with a great wealth of human capital that exists in Kashmir".
Gandhi told reporters after an interactive session with students of Kashmir University, "I think we have some of the brightest children in the room behind us. We need to work together with them and with other youngsters like them in Jammu and Kashmir to show them what can be achieved (and) what the future is and that they should take part in it".
Gandhi, who had brought some of the leading businessmen in the country to interact with the students of Kashmir University, said his main aim was to build trust and a long-term relationship with the youth of the state.
"They (students) are very very happy to speak with the businessmen and they are aspirational and we want to fulfil as many of their aspirations as possible. My aim is to develop trust and a long-term relationship with the youth of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
The Congress general secretary said he had promised the students of university during a similar interaction last year to facilitate an interaction with the titans of the industry.
"I had come here last year and I had promised the students here that I would try to build a long-term relationship with them, to develop some trust", he said.
Gandhi said, "They had mentioned to me that they would like to speak to some big businessmen and discuss job placements. So I had brought some of the titans of the industry to Kashmir to have a word with them".
He said he and the businessmen had a nice conversation with the "very very bright students and we want to try and see if we can build a future together".
Tata said, "What Mr Gandhi has done is not open a window but open a door".
He said it was for the industry leaders to do something for people of Kashmir so that they become a part of the growth and development of the country.
"It is for us as people in the industry to look beyond our normal places of endeavour to do something in Kashmir, to do something with Kashmir and to do something for the people of Kashmir that will bring prosperity and change," he added.
Tata said the interactive session with the students has displayed the intelligence as also the ability and keenness to participate in the growth and development of India.
"The potential is enormous and I think what has happened is today that the doors have been opened," he said.
While Gandhi and the industrialists were interacting with students in the Convocation Hall of the University, another group of students held a protest against the visit at the other end of the campus, sources said.
The handful of students raised slogans alleging that the university was being used for political ends, they said.
They were chased away by police and university watch and ward staff, the sources said.
Separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani had called for protests against Gandhi's visit.