India and US citizens have tolerance in their DNA but it has now disappeared, said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during a video interaction with former US Diplomat Nicholas Burns on Friday.
"I think why our (India and US) partnership works is because we are tolerant systems. You mentioned you are an immigrant nation. We are a very tolerant nation. Our DNA is supposed to be tolerant," said Gandhi.
He further said, "But the surprising thing is, that open DNA has sort of disappeared. I don't see that level of tolerance that I used to see in the US and India."
Speaking on the issue, Burns said, "I think you have identified a central issue at least for the US. However, there is a silver lining here. The good news is that we have people demonstrating all across the country this week demanding tolerance, inclusion, minority rights."
"One edge that we democracies have over authoritarian countries like China is that we can correct ourselves. The self-correction is part of our DNA in India and the US and like all democracies, we resolve these issues through free and fair elections. We do not turn to violence," he added.
Over the past couple of weeks, protests were seen all around the world demanding justice for George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American who died shortly after a police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Viral video of the incident sparked violent protests across the US. The county medical examiner ruled his death a homicide and the officer involved, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second-degree murder.
Today's interaction follows days after Rahul Gandhi spoke to industrialist Rajiv Bajaj, globally renowned public health experts -- Professor Ashish Jha of Harvard Global Health Institute and Swedish epidemiologist Johan Giesecke. Earlier he had spoken to former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and economist Abhijit Banerjee on the impact of COVID-19 on the country's economy.