India’s reputation of being a peaceful nation is being ruined abroad because of the divisive forces in the country, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday.

“Many people in the Democratic Party and the Republican Party [in the US] have asked me what is going on in your country,” Gandhi said. “India’s reputation in the world is very important.”

The Congress leader made the statement while addressing a gathering of Non-Resident Indians in New York, on the last day of his two-week tour of the United States.

He said the Congress movement was essentially an “NRI movement”. “Mahatma Gandhi was an NRI, Jawaharlal Nehru came back from England; BR Ambedkar, Chandrashekhar Azad, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel – they were all NRIs,” he added.

The Congress leader reiterated the comments he made at New Jersey’s Princeton University on Wednesday, stressing the importance of creating employment opportunities for the youth. “The Congress party has a vision to solve this problem, he said. “We believe that if you are to create millions of jobs in India, it has to be done by empowering small and medium businesses and entrepreneurs.”

Gandhi is on a two-week-long tour in the United States, which he kicked off with an address at the University of California in Berkeley. On Monday, he had said that unemployment and intolerance were the main issues hindering India’s development.