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Rahul Gandhi a sitting Member of Parliament of India who went to London and asked Europe and USA to intervene in what he sees as the collapse of democracy in India, which is a sovereign nation.

Isn't this a violation of a constitution of India? What are the rules governing members of parliament in India engaging in foreign diplomacy without authorization from the government?

This question is motivated by the following news story:

Rahul Gandhi seeks Europe, US intervention in India; BJP calls his remarks 'shameful':

What Rahul Gandhi said?

"The nature of democratic contest in India has completely changed and the reason is that one organisation called RSS - a fundamentalist, fascist organisation has basically captured pretty much all of India's institutions."

Rahul even stated that Europe and the US are not doing enough to restore democracy in India as they are getting trade and money from the country.

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    Well, India does have a sedition law, if that's what you're asking en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_124A_of_the_Indian_Penal_Code (seemingly currently suspended, pending some review). If it could be applied in this case is probably a matter of debate. Mar 12, 2023 at 23:44
  • How is it getting flagged as community specific?
    – Up-In-Air
    Mar 13, 2023 at 0:08
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    "Can he" Yes. "Should he?" matter of opinion. It is getting close votes because the phrasing seems to indicate that this is not a genuine question but a way of making a point. It is a "push question".
    – James K
    Mar 13, 2023 at 6:14
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    "Is not the violation of a constitution of India" I don't know. Democracies (and India still seems to be one) typically have some strong component regarding freedom of expression. I would expect that you tell us why you think it might be a violation of the Indian constitution. Maybe have a look at the constitution and cite a couple of articles that you think might be relevant or cite some similar cases. I think this question could be better motivated. Mar 13, 2023 at 7:47

2 Answers 2

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One can break this down in a number of subquestions that all have fairly obvious answers.

Q1: Can Rahul Gandhi travel to London?

A1: Sure, definitely as a tourist. As a member of parliament he might even be able to get a diplomat visa.

Q2: Can Rahul Gandhi request to speak to senior British politicians?

A2: Sure, anyone can request that. Most people would be just ignored.

Q3: Will any British politician actually talk to him?

A3: Complicated. He may not get to talk to anyone really important but just sending someone to talk to him seems like a good idea.

Q4: Can he claim to represent the government of India or the people of India?

A4: Not really. He is a member of parliament, no more no less and everyone knows that.

Q5: Can he ask Western politicians to intervene in Indian politics?

A5: Sure, he can ask whatever he wants to.

Q6: Will any Western country intervene in Indian politics because he asked them to?

A6: Unlikely. Interfering in other countries politics in general counts as a no go. Countries may occasionally try to do it if they think it is in their countries best interest. But that is a very different situation from a random politician of the country asking for it.

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  • I think the question is whether it's legal in India to ask for this. For example if a US Senator asked Vladimir Putin to please intervene in California because he doesn't like the democracy there, this would probably be some kind of treason. Mar 16, 2023 at 0:42
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The question is moot as it is based on wrong information - Rahul Gandhi did not ask any foreign powers to interfere in India's domestic politics.

The cited news report in the question is an example of poor (if not deliberately questionable) reporting as it is easy to verify that Rahul Gandhi never asked western democracies to interfere in Indian domestic political affairs:

Audience Q: ... You've spoken about democracy in trouble just now, and yesterday you expressed surprised at the fact that the western european countries don't seem to have noticed a lot of "chuncks of democracy are falling away" ... so my question is ... part two, what would you like London, Paris, Berlin ... all the other capitals - the government and the people - to do about this.

Rahul Gandhi: No, look ... first of all this is our problem - it's an internal problem, it's an indian problem. And the solution is going to come from inside. It's not going to come from outside. However, the scale of indian democracy means that democracy in India is a global public good. Right? It impacts way further than our boundaries. If indian democracy collapses, in my view, democracy on the planet suffers a very serious, possibly fatal, blow. So it is important for you too. It's not just important for us. We'll deal with our problem. But you must be aware that this problem is going to play out at global scale. It's not just going to play out in India. Right? And what you do about it is ofcourse up to you. But you must be aware of that what is happening in India - the idea of a democratic model - is being attacked and threatened.

The assertion that Rahul Gandhi "insulted" India abroad by questioning its current democratic status and "traitorously" asked foreign powers to interfere in Indian affairs (presumably to help him come to power) is part of the Modi government's propaganda to attack the opposition leader Rahul Gandhi:

THIS IS BETRAYAL OF BHARAT

After the drama of Bharat Jodo, Rahul crosses every limit for Bharat Badnami in Britain! Rahul Gandhi in Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav year (75 years of freedom) goes on British soil (ironically) and is seeking foreign intervention & validation on internal issues of India! Not the first time he is doing this- earlier he sought Nicholas Burn’s & US intervention & we all remember how Congress recently lapped up George Soros’ funded narrative. This is not a one off but a calculated pattern to undermine India’s sovereignty. For one vyakti ka virodh he indulges in this level of Bharat Virodh that he demands foreigners to meddle into our affairs on the soil of a country that once ruled us! - BJP National Spokesperson on Twitter

In many of his public interactions abroad, in US and Europe, Rahul Gandhi has indeed tried to raise awareness abroad that democracy in India is allegedly under threat because of the subversion of democratic institutes, the subversion of indian media, the increasing centralising of power by the Prime Minister's Office, and the increasing concentration of wealth in the hand of three - four individuals close to the current Prime Minister of India.

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