Sum total of Natwar’s charges: Sonia 'Gandhigiri' still stands

This argument about renunciation – and the purported advantage Sonia took off it – is just as bunkum as her supposed “inner voice” telling her to renounce the PM’s post

shantanu

Shantanu Datta | July 31, 2014




To start with, let us rephrase the statement made in the headline for the sake of clarity: what new is Natwar Singh, a former external affairs minister and Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, saying in his much-touted “tell-all” autobiography ‘One Life is Not Enough’, due out on August 1?

From his interview with Karan Thapar on Headlines Today and a report in the Indian Express (which presumably has got an advance copy of the book), that Sonia Gandhi refused to become the prime minister in 2004 not because of some “inner voice” bunkum. She did so because of pressure put by son Rahul Gandhi, who, to believe Singh, “didn't want her to be killed like his father” and grandmother.

While rubbishing Sonia’s “inner voice” theory that he alleges was made up for the public, he rubs it in, too, for some special effects: “I give full marks to Rahul as a son,” Singh said in the interview.

If that bit of information “exposes the real face of the Congress”, as the BJP claims, or is set to flatten an already-decimated Congress, as many pundits are saying, one can only feel sorry for the Congress party. The party, in that case, need not occupy public space. Not because the “revelation” offered by the 83-year-old former Gandhi family ‘confidant’ (the politically correct expression for a hanger-on, or, worse still, a sycophant, the likes of whom the Congress has had aplenty over the past six decades but is now apprehensive of losing in the changed political scenario) is “explosive” and “deeply embarrassing” for the party. But because it is such an insignificant disclosure that only a clinically dead person would possibly be hurt much by its ramifications – in which case, the party has already been bowled out all ends up (and not been declared hit wicket, mind you) and returned back to the pavilion.

This argument about renunciation – and the purported advantage Sonia took off it – is just as bunkum as her supposed “inner voice” telling her to renounce the post; or throne, to add salt as per taste.

a) There was no renunciation to begin with. The pundits loved that idea then, and peddled it, and are now using the same argument in reverse gear to move Sonia Gandhi off the pedestal, so to speak. Making Manmohan Singh the administrative head and keeping the political reins with the Gandhi family (or 10-Janpath, if you will) was as much a political decision as fighting the elections. Nothing more, nothing less.

b) Even if we buy the renunciation bait, the fact that Sonia did not hanker for the post at her son’s insistence (or pressure, if you will) would perhaps add to that contention. A simple test: think of the 5W and 1H formula.

Who is it about? Sonia/Congress, of course.

What happened? Sonia let Manmohan be the PM.

When did it take place? 2004.

Where did it take place? New Delhi.

Why did it happen? Because Rahul pressured her into it.

How did it happen? Repeat answer 5.

Now reread questions 2 and 5. “Let” someone else take the most coveted job in the country is much, much more advantageous than all the negatives spawned by “being pressured” into doing it. And, then again: doing what? Letting someone else be the PM – even if for an extremely selfish, and worldly, reason of not being targets of some imagined-in-future terrorist group, as Natwar Singh paints it.

c) In fact, Singh’s rendition of the whole canvas circa 2004 does an enviable job for the Congress party: it paints Rahul Gandhi positively. 1) He has enough control over his sister and mother; 2) he is not hankering for top posts; 3) he, too, believes in renouncing power – not just personal but even family’s. Qualities that have certainly not emerged in public, notwithstanding the multi-crore publicity campaign and the advertisement blitzkrieg by the agency Dentsu.

So, unwittingly, Singh might be saying the very thing he wrote his memoirs to destroy: that the Gandhigiri in shunning power stands!

As for the former external affairs minister’s other charges – that something dark was of course marring the daal since Priyanka Gandhi (“attractive” and dressed in “feminine mufti”, says the IE report; the devil, as they, lies in the detailing!) and even top boss Sonia came to his house to purportedly check whether he would write about all the 2004 shenanigans – this writer holds no brief for either the party or the Gandhis. But as they teach in secondary schools, you know the whole story (as against the “truth”) only when you know it whole – that is to say from all parties concerned. Till then, it’s all about he said versus she said. And in the current political arithmetic, war of words between a mother affected by son-stroke and a father affected by a similar son-stroke, as Singh’s son, Jagat, is a BJP MLA.

Comments

 

Other News

Allow uninterrupted discussion on Finance Bill: Civil society to Hamid Ansari

Almost a week ago, Finance Bill, 2017, was passed in the Lok Sabha as a money bill in the midst of a walk out by the opposition.  In the 92-page document of the bill, centre has pushed 40 amendments to various acts including the IT Act. Eminent people like Fali Nariman, Girish Karnad, TM Krishna, Arun

BHEL unveils 250 MW eco-friendly lignite power plant in Gujarat

  Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), a Maharatna PSU, has successfully commissioned 250 MW unit based on eco-friendly circulating fluidized bed combustion (CFBC) technology, using low grade coal (lignite) as the primary fuel.    The 250 MW lignite

Right to recall not recommended by law panel

  The Law Commission which had examined the issues of right to rejection and the right to recall, has not recommended for the same, the Lok Sabha was informed.   Union minister PP Chaudhary said that the Law Commission of India was requested in January, 2013,

`Shiv Nadar most generous Indian`

HCL founder Shiv Nadar tops the Hurun India Philanthropy list with Rs 630 crores donation towards education sector. Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan and his wife Sudha Gopalakrishnan came in second with a donation of Rs 313 crores primarily towards healthcare, social development and education.

Keel for first ship of the 5 CGOPV project laid in GSL

Keel of the first Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel (CGOPV) of the new 5 CGOPVs project for the Indian Coast Guard was laid at Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) recently by ADG K Natarajan, PTM, TM Coast Guard Commander (Western Seaboard), in the presence of RAdm (Retd) Shekhar Mital, NM Chairman and Managing Dire

Digital Village pilot project in 1050 gram panchayats

  A pilot project of Digital Village (DigiGaon) is to be implemented in 1050 Gram Panchayats (GPs) spread across 30 States/UTs, the Lok Sabha was informed.   Union minister PP Chaudhary said that the approved outlay for implementation of the project for finan

Video

योगी आदित्यनाथ ने किया गृह प्रवेश

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter