An aam admi’s personal tribute to Sonia Gandhi!

An aam admi’s personal tribute to Sonia Gandhi!
As an unknown Indian fascinated by the dimensions of Indian politics and its varied and rapidly changing hues, I was tempted to also pay a personal tribute to the Congress president on her successful completion of 15 years at the helm of the family conglomerate.

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An aam admi’s personal tribute to Sonia Gandhi!As an unknown Indian fascinated by the dimensions of Indian politics and its varied and rapidly changing hues, I was tempted to also pay a personal tribute to the Congress president on her successful completion of 15 years at the helm of the family conglomerate. Being an ordinary Indian I did not have the gumption to walk up to 10 Janpath and seek to meet Madam in order to convey my heartfelt wishes, nor did I have, until today, the leisure to put my thoughts to paper. Therefore, readers will perhaps forgive me this delayed homage to ‘her who must not be named’!

For a person who had started off by saying that she would not enter politics, nor become a Congress member but ‘only help the party as a person belonging to the Congress family’, for a person who had declared ‘I am just a four anna member, I will not occupy any position’, the political journey of the last fifteen years has been a remarkable saga of survival and machinations. She has, in terms of political years, outlived most other Congress presidents and is about to equal – in political terms – the records of her grandfather-in-law and her mother-in-law. For Congressmen eternally surviving on the first family’s stock of political oxygen, she has already become part of the pantheon of the Congress immortals.

For one who began her public political career by engineering the ‘coup de toilette’ by directing her henchmen to lock up the then octogenarian national president of the Congress, she has always displayed a street-smart political sense which dwarfs her original compatriots of the Machiavellian mould.

With the help of some faithful, she went about demolishing her so-called adversaries. When Purno Sangma asked her in that fateful CWC meeting as to what answer he would give voters who ask him ‘why she had lived in India as a foreigner for 17 years and why she had not opted for Indian citizenship in 1968’, she promptly expelled him. Yet, unlike like her mother-in-law who never forgot and rarely forgave, she forgave only to strike back. After a decade of that expulsion, she accommodated Purno’s daughter in the Central Ministry, received him and talked him into publicly declaring that he had made amends and that she had graciously forgotten the past.

Right when things were appearing to look up for the former Speaker, she intervened to pull the rug from beneath his feet by denying him an audience when he came with his petition for the presidency. Similarly, she bought peace with Purno’s erstwhile political colleagues in the NCP by distributing Ministerial berths and yet kept their ambitions and politics in check.

In this manner she neutralised most of her adversaries. The instance of the vocal anti-Bofors Jaipal Reddy is a case in point. She digested the man with a Cabinet berth for the last nine years and has politically silenced him forever. Karan Singh, who deserted her mother-in-law post emergency, was weaned back into the fold, made to oppose a party which articulated all that he stood for, was given a few crumbs of office, and by being kept away from major political assignments, was gradually made politically irrelevant. It hugely served her purpose to neutralise, to politically paralyse and yet keep within the fold a public personality who spoke of Hinduism, Bharatiya sanskriti and publicly recited the Vedas and the Upanishads.

With great dexterity and ruthlessness she went about consolidating her gains, turning the party into a complete family conglomerate, sharpening its international networking skills and seeing it returning to power over two consecutive turns with an increased tally. No one can fault her performance here, she has lived up to and even bettered her mother-in-law’s legacy, taking control and using without restraint every state institution for the consolidation of her and her family’s political stranglehold over the party and the people of India. The brazen use of the CBI smacks of a mafiosiesque mindset which has long become extinct in mature democracies.

A distinguished non-resident Indian columnist calling her the socialist godmother of India said that her foreign origin issue was dead and the fact that she has lived in India for over four decades made her Indian. I think not, her origins and perceptions of India do remain an issue. We have, for example, never known in these long years, what her thoughts are on India, her traditions, way of being, ethos and civilisation. We have never seen her articulating her inmost thoughts on this land.

In the past, there often was a frivolous habit by sycophants of comparing her to Sister Nivedita, the Hinduised Western disciple of Swami Vivekananda, who lived in India for a little over a decade and died young after having stirred the imagination of Indian youth towards their culture, religion and parampara. Nivedita was convinced of the need to internalise and connect with the triad of ‘jana-desha-dharma’ if one aspired to truly serve the country in the public sphere. I am not sure if the object of my tribute has successfully brought that about in the last four odd decades, at least there never has been public displays of that connect. The issue of origin, orientation and assimilation remains – it is not dead. Electoral returns and dividends alone are not yardsticks for measuring issues of psyche and civilisational spirit.

During the days when he publicly opposed the Bofors deal, Jaipal was once at his eloquent best in Parliament, he is said to have told the Speaker that the main problem was not with the ‘non-resident Indians’, it was more crucially with the ‘resident non-Indian.’

Too bad that while that problem persists and rankles, the likes of Jaipal have crossed over to the other side!

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are the author's personal opinions. Information, facts or opinions shared by the Author do not reflect the views of Niti Central and Niti Central is not responsible or liable for the same. The Author is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

  • Malavika

    Sonia Milked her ‘poor Window’ status spectacularly. Where as NDA admin was baby sitting her and her kids out of misplaced magnanimity and stupity. Or perhaps had dynasty loyalists in the midst.

    However, I think 2009 elections is a EVM magis not Sonia magic.

  • vasanth

    I am always amazed how the majority of Indians just fail to recognise that here is foreigner just married our former PM,she is foreigner by birth,accent,thoughts,heart and yet fall by seeing her name which even that is fake.I can’t imagine any other great democracy where in the supreme powerful politician is a complete foreigner having no idea of the soul of the country she is heading.I just feel shameful whenever I see her meeting other foreign dignitaries.they surely must be having silent grin.congress has today acquired a perception of being pro muslims and anti Hindu of the silent and the reslient majority.if somebody can be blamed for this,it is sonia madam herself who wants to divide Hindus and consolidate other vote banks behind her.

  • Sayan Sen

    This article seems to be commissioned by Dr. Subramanian Swamy or may be Narendra Modi :) just like I have been commissioned by Digvijay Singh to write this comment :) . This article reminded me of the original “unknown Indian”, Nirad C. Chaudhuri who was extremely fond of abusing the original Gandhi based on the Mahatma’s personal life.
    Please refer the above link to get knowledge about the real failings of Smt. Gandhi a.k.a “India’s Socialist Godmother”.
    P.S. The ghost of Lord Macaulay (I am a proud Macaualy-putra :)) suggests to avoid “native”, “Hindoo”, “communal” words like “Bharatiya sanskriti”, “Parampara” and use proper Anglicised, “pseudo-secular” words like “Indian culture”, “tradition”. :)

  • Rajalakshmi

    Very well written.

    I think her fair skin & Italian origin do sway many Indians. I remember seeing a photograph of Mayawathi sitting beside Sonia & a picture is more eloquent than a detailed article. That was taken before her face to face meeting with Sonia when she thundered a lot about challenging her in her absence.

    Only Jayalalithaa & Narendra Modi are self possessed enough not to genuflect before her.

    Due credit ought to be given to Subramaniam Swamy also for baring all details about Sonia’s background.

    Many women oriented useless magazines of India have always heaped cloying praises on both Indira & Sonia Gandhi. BBC decides to stay unfazed by corruption of Sonia dynasty. When Indira Gandhi died Margaret Thatcher wondered & wondered “what a woman …what a strong woman…”.

    Thank God Richard Nixon & Henry Kissinger were no such stupid sycophants.
    Jacqueline Kennedy’s candid opinions on Indira Gandhi also made me realize my admiration for America is not misplaced.

  • sanjay ghosh

    I began to read the article thinking its a genuine aam admi article but after reading a para I realized its not written by just an aam admi,but a frustrated BJP supporter who cant stand her at all. I could have understood you as AAM ADMI if you criticized Sonia Gandhi for the corruption or price rise etc. but you like all Sanghis attacked her personally. I have no problem in your attack but at least give an honest headline and not a headline to fool others.

    • Digvijay Kohli

      Hey dude! Why do you set standards for criticism, why do do you define the method and manner! You talk about Sanghis why don’t you refer to the Kangis and their patron in charge for propaganda Digvijay Singh and his mindless attack on BJP and Sanghis and his heart felt support of terrorists. Why should BJP supporters be frustrated, they have Modi while Kangi supporters like you have only Mama and confused Baba!!!

  • vasanth patel

    Mr.sanjay ghosh,may there is some truth in what u say but khangress and sonia fake Gandhi does not deserve least of our sympathies.that would a great injustice to mother India .I suggest u just relax and flow with the tide and be on the right side of the history.