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

BHEL commissions supercritical thermal power plant in UP

With the commissioning of the third unit of the Prayagraj Super Thermal Power Project (PSTPP), Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has successfully executed the 1,980 MW coal-based supercritical thermal power project in Uttar Pradesh.   The first two units of the project

A corporation to be set up for Digital India

The ministry of electronics and information technology (MEITY) will set up a new body, Digital India Corporation (DIC), to execute prime minister’s ambitious Digital India programme. The corporation will subsume some of the existing agencies within the ministry including the National e-Gove

India, Japan to build Asia-Africa corridor to checkmate OBOR

While India and China are pitted against each other in South Asia and the Southeast Asian region, and the former’s refusal to participate in Beijing held summit on One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative was a low point in their bilateral ties, New Delhi is now preparing an initiative that will r

Pragati Maidan to be turned into exhibition-cum-convention centre

The existing Pragati Maidan complex is set to get a new face with its redevelopment into a world class state-of-the-art integrated exhibition-cum-convention centre (IECC).   CMD, India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), L C Goyal and CMD, NBCC (India) Limited, Anoop Kumar M

GAIL clocks 57% rise in profit after tax in 2016-17 FY

GAIL (India) Limited has registered 57 percent rise in profit after tax (PAT) for the 2016-17 fiscal with the PAT increasing to Rs 3,503 crore from Rs 2,226 crore in the last fiscal.   The rise in profit was boosted mainly by a turnaround in the company’s petrochemical

The case of former coal secy and the anti-corruption law

  A senior bureaucrat, apparently much respected among the administrative circles, faces two years in jail. His crime: a decision that may have come from the political leadership.   HC Gupta, a former coal secretary, is among the three bureaucrats convicted b



Video

प्रभुनाथ सिंह को हत्याकांड में उम्रकैद की सजा

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter