Rahul Gandhi 43, the scion of the powerful Nehru dynasty, is Congress Patry’s last hope to win the upcoming general elections. Gossip is rife that Gandhi, the reluctant heir-apparent, will not be nominated as the prime minister candidate by Congress. The ground reality, though, is that Congress has no other choice but to name Gandhi as their nominee for prime minister.
Gandhi is the scion of the powerful Nehru political dynasty. Sonia is the current president of the Congress. Gandhi is the son of Rajiv Gandhi, the prime minister of India, who was assassinated in a suicide bomb attack carried out by the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), during a political rally in Kerala, South India.
Gandhi is the grandson of Indra Gandhi, the first female prime minister of India. Indra was killed by her own Sikh bodyguard because she ordered the raid on Golden Temple in Amritsar. The Golden Temple is the most revered holy site for the Sikhs. It was raided by the Indian army, on the orders of prime minister, at the height of the Sikh secessionist movement. The secessionist movement was, for Khalistan, a separate homeland for the Sikhs in India.
Gandhi is the great-grandson of Jawhar Lal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India. Nehru was the son of Moti Lal Nehru, the president of the pre-independence Congress, and a confidant of Mahatma Gandhi. It goes without saying that the Nehru dynasty is named after him. The Nehru’s are Brahmans, which according to the Hindu caste system are the highest caste, and born leaders both in the secular and political spheres. It is chiefly due to this reason that a temple for Sonia Gandhi is being built-in Mahbubnagar district in the state of Andhra Pradesh. This temple is to house a bronze idol of Sonia, with a sapling in one hand and a tray of fruit in the other.
The opposition political figures are calling it the peak of sycophancy. They believe that, in a democracy, the political leaders are to be respected but not worshiped like gods. The Congress leaders, on the other hand, say that this shrine is a tribute for her efforts to make southern Andhra Pradesh into a separate state of Telangana. For this reason, Sonia has been named as Telangana Talli (Telangana mother). The more practical reason for this move, however, is to carve out a safe constituency for Gandhi, Congress party’s only and the last hope to win the upcoming general elections.
Gandhi, it is accurate to say, was destined to be the prime minister from the time of his birth. According to most political commentators, he is reluctant to take on this responsibility. He has no other option, however, because being a scion of the Nehru dynasty, he has to fulfill his destined role in Indian politics. Gandhi’s younger sister, Priyanka, is more popular among the masses than her brother, but her only drawback is that she is a woman. In traditional Indian societies it is always expected that the male heir carries out the family name, rather than the female members of the family.
Only time will show whether Gandhi can lead India out of the political mess, but there are no two ways about the fact that he is Congress party’s last hope.
By Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada