“Amberish K Diwanji”:http://in.rediff.com/news/2004/mar/24akd.htm
bq. In stark contrast, the Bharatiya Janata Party has thus far not been smitten by the dynasty bug (one hopes it never does). It selects candidates based on parameters of success, not inheritance. But more important, any middle-level official in the party knows he stands a chance of winning a nomination, if not now then the next time. With such hope burning eternal in his breast, a member will work that much harder for the party’s success, because he knows the next time round his colleagues might well be working for his electoral success. Look at the contrast: the Congress president is president only because of her family connections; the BJP president comes from a humble family. What is the message being sent out?
“Indian Express”:http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=43597 (via “Jivha”:http://www.jivha.com/blog/archives/001108.html)
bq. The BJP released its fourth list of candidates today, and prominent among those in the list include sons of Finance Minister Jaswant Singh and Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje, and former CMs Kailash Joshi (Bhopal) and Babulal Marandi (Koderma, Chhattisgarh).
“Amberish K Diwanji”:http://in.rediff.com/news/2004/mar/24akd.htm
7 thoughts on “Dynasty”
Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra Singh contested 1999 elections too, and lost by a narrow margin. He followed in his father’s footsteps in more ways than one: he is an ex-army man. He then worked for that loutish newspaper, Indian Express, at a time when the rag was not as loutish as it is today, but resigned and joined the defence ministry in the wake of Kargil.
Kailash Joshi’s son is a sitting MLA.
I don’t know about the other two.
Let’s be clear about what is meant by dynasty politics: the dynasty is crucial for the survival of the toadies, the hangers-on and the court-jesters who have neither the power nor the talent to shine on their own. Their own fortunes flow from that of the dynasty. If the dynasty flourishes, they flourish too, and if it perishes, so they do. Far too many congressmen believe that they have no survival independent of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, and no future outside of the Congress, which is why they stage those pitiful scenes begging and pleading with the Empress to debut the juniors rightaway.
The Congress’ dynasty culture reflects poorly NOT on Sonia Gandhi or her children, as many of us mistakenly believe, but on Congressmen and those voters who vote for the Nehru brand. They are sycophants and unthinking people, respectively.
That is not the situation with the sons that the BJP is fielding. At worst, the party can be accused of favouring the sons of the influentials over other, more deserving candidates, but not of a culture of sycophancy, nor of abject, pathetic dependence for survival on a few individuals.
Ch..ch..Raghu your arguments remind me of a popular Hindi tease-phrase friends used to say now-and-then, “Tum karo to pyar, hum karein to balaatkaar” (When you do it it’s love and when we do it you term it rape).
Hello Debashish, how do you do man. I remember leaving a nice comment on your blog long ago. 🙂
Your quote reminds me of another, though far less sarcastic and humorous: “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom-fighter.” In any talkshop on terrorism on India’s loudest-mouthed, faux-liberal channel SPINDTV, you can watch a parade of bozos hawking this line.
Why does this morally repugnant moral equivalence between terrorists and freedom-fighters arise at all? Because the said bozos zero in on that which is basic minimum common characteristic of both groups: recourse to violence. (Strictly speaking though, freedom fighters don’t have to kill, as Gandhi demonstrated.) By pointing to this characertistic, liberals glibly equate one group with the other.
It is therefore VERY important to get our defintions right. If we can’t define terrorism, surely, we can at least define what a terrorist act is. Killing innocent people is definitely one: freedom-fighters don’t do that.
Likewise, while the common minnimum programme of love and rape, ie, sex, may mislead your friends to confuse one with the other, there is no ambiguity at all because rape is very clearly defined: that which is not consensual. Husband forcing himself on the wife also constitues rape.
To draw from the domain in which you are an expert: surely, you wouldn’t claim that there’s no difference between a String and a Hashtable, because both are System.Object’s anyway?
The moral of the story is that we must not be vague with words, we must define them precisely to the extent possible.
Coming to the point: the manifestation is same: both Congress and BJP are fielding sons. But does that necessarily mean that the phenomenon they are manifesting is also the same?
In order to answer this question, I supplied a definition — sort of — of “dynasty politics”. Now, if you have a problem with this definition, please argue it out; or show that the said definition applies equally in both cases.
* * *
JK, if you do not like me to piggyback on your website with lengthy comments of this nature, do let me know.
First of all I am an avid reader of your comments (as long as I have patience) on Jivha’s blog too. I must say you should have your own blog (I am not aware if you have one).
Now to our discussion. I am of very clear view Raghu that there is not a single individual or party in the murky waters of current Indian politics who really-really wants to do something good to the nation. Those who want to have always been sidelined in their own parties (don’t have to go far, consider Govindacharya in BJP).
It is a common human instinct to pass on our heritage and possessions to our successors. Doesn’t a common public sector employee aspires that his son gets a similar “sarkari” job? Doesn’t an Industrialist want his son to takeover after him? So netas are no exception when they field their sons or relatives in the money-making business.
Dynasty or no-dynasty for a candidate aspiring for a post contending an election is a must. Elections in India are as fair as we know and such people winning depends. Sanjay Gandhi is considered a villain, Rajiv is not, both harbingers of dynastic rules. If you are not allergic to the word “Gandhi” I would rather go for an educated “Rahul Gandhi” or “Jyotiraditya Sindhia” than a sixth-grader, dhongi sadhwi Uma Bharti or an angutha-chaap Raabri Devi.
I am not for any party. As they say in politics you have “saanpnaths” and “nagnaths” all around. But let’s have same yardstick for all.
Raghu, Feel free to comment.
If dynasty can be tolerated in any other profession, then why not in politics as well.
I keep reading these articles of BJP Vs Congress. I don’t have any strong opinion of my own. But when I talk to other people, they say Congress rule had ruined this country. Their rule lasted for more than FOUR DECADES. You can change the destiny of TWO GENERATIONS in that period. Now they have no right to speak so its better if they shut up at least for 47 years!
Kashmir, Aasam, Naga insurgency, Punjab…. the list is endless. We are paying for their misrule for the blood of OUR soldiers.
At least that is what I am told when I try to discuss this with others.
What’s there in the Name ?? only qualification is a surname : Gandhi. Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi , Juanita Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra ; Raihan Rajeev Vadra Gandhi , Miraya Vadra Gandhi … & more to follow ; this only includes the legend Nehru – Gandhi’s , and does not qualifies any other ” Gandhi’s” ; NO TUSHAR GANDHI !!! nor Mahatma Gandhi’s family .
Questions have been raised whether Sonia Maino/Gandhi is an Indian, whether she should be entrusted with heading what she calls the government of “Secular Nationalism” to oppose BJP’s government of “Hindu Nationalism/Communalism.” She is now the President of the Gandhi’s Congress Party and has the ambitions to be the Prime Minister of India, she is no longer a private person. As a public person that she now is, she is not beyond the pale of public scrutiny, nor is she immune from uncomfortable questions that might arise about her, from a glimpse into her past life and into her background
Sonia now proclaims that she is “an Indian till her last breath.” The striking thing about this crisp announcement is that she made this claim only after she entered political life, as the President of the Congress Party, not before that. Not only that but she married Rajiv Gandhi in 1968 and was entitled to seek Indian Citizenship in five years, in the year of 1973. But she did not seek Indian citizenship in 1973 either, even though entitled, but waited until 1984, when necessity kicked her stern to quickly acquire Indian Citizenship to enable her husband Rajiv Gandhi become the Prime Minister of India, upon the death of his Mother Indira Gandhi. Even in 1984, she was very reluctant to seek Indian citizenship and changed her mind only when Rajiv Gandhi and the other “Bahu” of the household, Maneka Gandhi, pointed out to her that it would be very awkward for her husband, Rajiv Gandhi, as the Prime Minister of India, to have an Italian spouse. Unashamedly and unmistakably, Sonia now is making a righteous virtue (claim of being “an Indian till her last breath”) out of something that was sine qua non needed and was purely a dire political necessity of 1984.
Was her failure to seek Indian citizenship in 1973 an act of omission or oversight? Neither of the two. It was an act of deliberate decision on her part to retain her Italian Citizenship. Note this that in the year of 1971, during the Bangladesh War between India and Pakistan, all Indian Airlines pilots (except her husband Rajiv Gandhi) were put on standby status, for providing logistic support under the emergency provisions. However, Rajiv Gandhi, a full-time pilot with Indian Airlines, Sonia Gandhi, and their two children flew off to Italy at the very start of the Bangladesh War. All indigenous Indian Airlines pilots stood by to serve their Motherland. But Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia, and their two children spent the entire duration of the Bangladesh War in far-off Italy, away from the turmoil of India. She abandoned her Mother-in-Law Indra Gandhi and fled from India during the hour of her testing and trial, putting to proof her loyalty and fidelity to India and her people, whom she abandoned. So much for Sonia’s loyalty to India and her Phony Claim of “the Indian till her last breath.”
Record, therefore, clearly establishes that she was more than impatient to desert her Mother-in-Law and her famous Gandhi Dynasty, at least twice. Funnily, it is the same Gandhi dynasty that she now espouses so eagerly and uses and flaunts it as her greatest asset. Because she fled from India in 1971, in the hour of her need, it exposes the hollowness of her claim of being “an Indian till her last breath.”
Another case in point of Patriotism of Sonia and her family: Sonia Gandhi’s son Rahul , who is also contesting this election is engaged /married to Juanita ,an Colombian , whose uncles in Colombia has nefarious antecedents and are reportedly a wanted persons in that country. having reportedly business & interests in drugs and other illicit businesses. Her daughter Priyanka Varda has married an Anglo-Indian named Robert Varda. The family have shown their contempt for the vast majority of Indians by distancing themselves culturally from the Indians.
The above record establishes clearly and conspicuously that this new about-face of “loyalty” on the part of Sonia, bears witness not of a sign and seal of her fervent love for India or her great regard for the Gandhi Dynasty but is her cogitation of naked opportunism and a pragmatic desire to take advantage of a ready-made political situation wherein the Congress Party is in deep deep trouble, and is desperately in need of somebody to bail it out. With her Gandhi name ( along with her white skin, which seizes the mind of the un-educated, unsophisticated voters of India), Congressi king-makers regard Sonia as a humongous political asset which can be used to revive the beat-up/run-down, dilapidated Congress Party, which otherwise has no chance of “getting up” unless drastic measures are availed of. Choice of Sonia is an act of desperation on the part of the big-whigs of the Congress Establishment. It is absolutely astounding that the Congress Establishment could not find a leader, from amongst the India-born persons, whose loyalty and technical competence cannot be challenged, and that the Congress Party is utterly dependent, to keep itself alive, upon the usage of a dynasty (Gandhi Dynasty) name, suitably supported by white skin.
Upon serious scrutiny, it becomes clear that the choice, by the Congress Establishment, of a person of the caliber (as explained below) of Sonia Gandhi, looks like an act of stupor and imbecility, nevertheless, this act of imbecility could still end up making Sonia as the Prime Minister of India. It is said that “Whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first turn him mad”. It would be engaging now to watch the ensuing developments, as they unfold, inside the Congress Palace.
The above status/situation, however, does not rule out the possibility that her citizenship, loyalty, and technical qualifications will not be challenged, either before, during, or after the election. They will be challenged, you can count upon that and the consequences of these challenges could be very embarrassing not only for Sonia but for the entire Congress Establishment. One always hopes that God would give some sense to the Congress Big-Whigs but that is expecting a lot. The Congress-Wallas are more interested in their personal interests and political advantages than in what is good for the country. The country could go to hell, for all they care and that is not an exaggeration either!
Sonia’s Double Citizenship: Sonia obtained her Indian citizenship (as a Naturalized Indian Citizen) in 1984 but she did not surrender her Italian citizenship. She continues simultaneously to be a citizen of Italy (along with her status as a naturalized citizen of India). This is made possible because the Italian Law does not require her to surrender her Italian citizenship or her Italian Passport. Even if Sonia surrenders her Italian Passport to Indian authorities, Italian government can issue her a new Italian Passport. Simply put, Sonia is a dual-citizen, of Italy and India and is now dreaming of becoming the Prime Minister of India (she could also legally become the Prime Minister of Italy!). She is verily a Double-Dipper.
Since Sonia’s citizenship is via naturalization, it is vulnerable to revocation under several types of circumstances such as evidence of wrong-doing and misbehavior, including participation in the Bofors Guns deal. She has been reported to have recently met Signor Quattrochhi, one of the creatures wanted by the Indian courts in Bofors Investigation. Ms Sonia cannot be considered as Ms Clean and her future could also be the four walls of the jail cell. Sonia can try to throw dust in the eyes of the illiterate people of India (with slogans of “Indian till her last breath”) and can believe that every one in India can be fooled and that every one in India is driven by selfish interest and personal greed, but this is naive and her dual citizenship stands plainly exposed… and questions are going to be asked more…and more.
Sonia’s Education: Sonia met Rajiv Gandhi at Cambridge University, but neither she nor Rajiv got any degree from the Cambridge University. In fact, Sonia was not even a student at Cambridge University but went to one of private teaching schools in the city for lessons in English language. It is reported that Sonia was a house-maid in the city of Cambridge and that Sonia hails from a poor family in Italy…however, her fortunes have now changed, she is no longer the White Trash Of Italy, that she once was, and at this time she possesses almost as much money as Bill Gates. It is said she passed the Metric Examination (some have even reported that she is Metric Failed) but regardless she has no college level education. Period. She speaks English with a broken Italian accent. She knows a few words of Hindi and speaks them with an Italian accent. While trying to converse in Hindi, she often misunderstands the meanings of simple words as she did during a recent conversation with Mullayam Singh Yadav.
The Western press makes a big deal about her knowledge of Hindi and constantly talks about Sonia Gandhi’s skill in the Hindi language. This is as false and as misleading as can be. The truth is that her knowledge of Hindi cannot be considered even passable. Her Hindi Handicap gets unmasked when you notice that she barely speaks half-a-dozen words of broken Hindi, before reverting to Italian-accented English! Some countries in the West are happy with her knowledge of Hindi, because the thought of a white woman controlling nearly 1 BILLION BROWN INDIANS, excites their colonial imagination!
Her familiarity with other Indian languages, culture, or Indian History is ZERO. These are strong issues, they are not going to go away and questions will be asked and will require to be answered…certainly from a person who is aspiring to be the Prime Minister of India. The source of her bountiful wealth could also come under questioning. Such questions may come up during a news conference and it would be a “LIVING TERROR” for Sonia. It is said that a sucker is born every minute. Is Congress playing a sucker game?
Sonia has lucked out that no journalist has asked her these uncomfortable questions so far but she cannot count upon her luck holding out for ever. Upto this time, Sonia has not given a single interview to the press and has not faced any journalist nor discussed any national issues with them. Her only qualification is that she is a Gandhi and has white skin. But these two entities, by themselves, are not sufficient for Sonia to bluff her way through. There is always a time of reckoning and it comes at the most unexpected time. Can you imagine a situation where a foreigner walks into the highest office of the land, without having to contest the election, in the usual customary way, without having to face or talk to the media? Is that possible or probable?
Even though Sonia lacks the essential qualifications of a politician or of a leader, she does not lack opportunism and ruthlessness. Right now she is using scare tactics to black-mail the voters in India. Sonia is telling the Indian Voters that if they vote for BJP, they will have to face another election in the year 2004; here she is issuing a veiled threat of destabilizing the BJP government, if it gets elected, and forcing another election. Her strategy is to gain control of the government by whatever it takes, by hook or crook.
A question that may be asked is this: Why is Sonia in such a desperate hot-hurry? Is she herself facing threats from someone?
Because : “that it is inconceivable that a woman of Sonia’s economic and social background in Italy suddenly coming into so much wealth would fail to attract the attention of criminal elements. What is the ‘external force’ behind Sonia, he asks and then explains that this is easy to answer. The methodology, of using blackmail with threats of economic destruction smacks of the Vatican-Mafia. (The Vatican is the world’s most powerful Mafia.) Sonia’s coup is eerily similar to methods used by the Vatican in Latin American countries, and even Italy.the brains behind both threats of economic blackmail must be the same – the Vatican-Mafia. The Vatican’s stake in India is simply enormous. It will stop at nothing to subvert it through Sonia or anyone else.”
The Italian Mafia (Vatican Mafia included) has had a bad reputation. Even the leaders of the Mafia in the US are mostly of Italian origin; the Italian Mafia in the US is much more sophisticated than its Columbian counterpart and other Johnny-come-latelies. The Italian Mafia has well-established political connections which ensures its long-term survival, an art in which the Columbian Mafia is much less sophisticated and has difficulty avoiding capture. The Italian Mafia has a Global reach and it goes wherever there is opportunity of big money and can hardly be expected to miss a fat goose like Sonia Gandhi. One thing is certain: Every member of the Italian Mafia desires to get rich within 6 months or less, not more. Because of this pugnacious track record and the bloody eyes of the Italian Mafia (Vatican included)
Why did Sonia Gandhi meet O. Quottrechhi (a fugitive from Indian Law recently ?. Does she have a free license to meet any fugitives from Indian law ? It has come to light that Sonia Gandhi was involved in a so-called “restoration of art” in Delhi, during which she spirited away (Translation: STOLE) to Italy many PRICELESS pieces of our heritage? Another question that has never been asked is the source of money of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation ? Why no body has asked about this “Wonderful Non-Sense?”It is stated that vast tracts of properties in prime areas are held by this Foundation? Vatican Mafia Dons, with their champagne haze, would certainly be interested in some of this easy money!
One might ask that if Congress is so desperate for a dynasty name such as the Gandhi Dynasty name, and if the Congress party wants nothing but a Gandhi, then why don’t they recruit Maneka Gandhi. She is at least an Indian. Why do they go in for an ignoramus like Sonia Gandhi? The answer is easy. Maneka lacks what Sonia has, a white skin and this is not a Mickey Mouse factor either in Indian Politics.
The Congress party contends that Gandhi, who wears Indian sarees, speaks Hindi fluently and has spent 12 more years in India than she has in Italy, is Indian at heart. Her connections with Italy, however tenuous, have drawn criticism. Never mind that she smears her forehead with a “Tilak”and also wears a Sari.
CONCLUSION: SONIA’S TILAK AND SARI ARE JUST AS PHONY AS A THREE-DOLLAR BILL, JUST AS PHONY AS THE DRESS AND OUTWARD APPEARANCE
And her claim of being “Indian till her last breath” has the same measure of Phoniness.