Make your own free website on


abstracts of an arun shourie article

First, unlike Bhabani Sengupta, there is no issue whatsoever on which Sonia Gandhi has a view that runs counter to the national consensus.

Second, indeed, there is no issue on which anyone can allege that Sonia has any view at all. Of no other leader do the people of India have such an immaculate conception.

Third, Sonia has never held any job at all. This proves that her competence is not limited to any narrow task. And that clearly establishes that she has competence for every task.

Fourth, it is both pointless and cussed to maintain that, as she has never had any job, she does not have experience -- everyone has to start somewhere. Why not have her start at the very top, and thereby set an example for the world ?

Fifth, it would be entirely wrong to think of the preceding qualifications as constituting only a negative case for making her the Congress President and Prime Minister. That a person having no stated view on any matter, that a person having no known competence for any task, that a person who has never held any job has been able to position herself just a step away from the Prime Ministership of the country itself testifies to a deep competence -- not just that, it testifies to some unknown, hidden, inner, mystic power. Sonia thus has not just the Divine Right to Rule, she has the Divine Blessing to do so.

Sixth, she is neither Hindu nor Muslim, and therefore will by definition be above sectarian narrow-mindedness.

Seventh, she is above and beyond caste. Indeed, she is the only person in the country who, in spite of having a fair complexion, is not a Manuwadi.

Eighth, she is from and of the minorities, and from and of the weaker sections -- twice over. She is not a Hindu -- and so by definition she is one with the virtuous, that is the minorities. But that is just the beginning. She is a woman -- and so she is both : from the minorities, and from the weaker sections. But even that is an understatement. Among Christians, she is a Christian who was born abroad, a minority of a minority. Among women, she is white, again a minority of a minority. Among white women, she is one who has lost her husband under tragic circumstances, thus from the weakest of a weaker section. Therefore, she is not just a minority, she actually is what Mahatma Gandhi only occasionally managed to be -- a minority of one. In a word, she is unique.

Ninth, she is from and of, and therefore best suited to represent not just the minority, but also the majority. As everyone knows, on every question facing the country we have the silent majority. Who better to represent it than the one who has never spoken on the question at or out of hand ?

Tenth, she speaks Hindi better than Deve Gowda -- and, as Comrade Surjit has explained so often, we need a Hindi-speaking person from the North to fight the communal forces which are rearing their ugly head nowhere as in the North. She is unequaled in this regard too -- being not just from the northern part of the country but from North of the country

Eleventh, we must not forget the orphan. The Congress, that is. It has felt that way since Indiraji and Rajivji were snatched away. As it has been so much a part of our history, it must be preserved as much as any other relic. The reactions that have spontaneously burst forth from Congressmen since they learnt that Sonia has joined the party show that she is for them Guide, Mother, Goddess. Anyone who opposes her assuming the role they want her to don is by definition preventing orphans from deriving comfort from where they can. Moreover, as believing in someone is a matter of faith, a person objecting to Sonia taking over as Mother, Avtar, Goddess is violating the Freedom of Religion which is guaranteed to Congressmen as much as to other citizens by the Constitution.

Twelfth, the strong-man of Maharashtra is still in deep calculation, and, what with the international situation being what it is, we cannot allow a vacuum to persist.

Thirteenth, there is the legacy. To start with, she is heir to a legacy which is richer than Rajiv's. Remember, Rajiv had the legacies of only Indira Gandhi and her father etc., she has all those and in addition she has Rajiv's legacy. By the same reasoning, her legacy is twice richer than Indira Gandhi's, thrice richer than Jawaharlal Nehru's and infinitely richer than that of poor Motilal Nehru -- for the latter had no legacy at all, and had to start it all with his bare hands. And what hands ! No other leader was able to bequeath a family that has served the country as long as the family Motilal bequeathed. That makes him the greatest benefactor of the country -- and Sonia's legacy is by definition infinitely greater than the accumulated merit of the original benefactor of our poor country.

Fourteenth, she is no passive heir to this grand legacy. She is actively continuing Rajiv's legacy. Remember, Rajiv derived his legacy only from his mother, not from his father; from his mother's father, never from his father's father -- the name of the latter benefactor of our country having been lost on our Congressmen. That Rajiv derived his legacy from his mother and not his father, that he derived it from his mother's forefathers and not from those of his father shows how devoted he was to the cause of women uplift. Sonia too has never departed from this noble tradition, she too has never claimed to continue the legacy of Rajiv's father and his family. She could have done so, but she never succumbed to the temptation. That proves aparigraha, non-acquisitiveness. That proves tyaga, renunciation. And the two together prove how deeply saturated she is with our spiritual tradition.

Fifteenth, Sonia is not just continuing the Nehru family's tradition of renunciation, she is doing it one better. Remember, Rajiv did not lay claim to the legacy of his father, only of his mother. Sonia, on the other hand, has claimed the legacy of neither her mother nor her father. That testifies to three things at once -- to renunciation, to her being a thorough pativrata, and to her being ever so devoted to our country. Is there any other leader of whom we can say that he has repudiated the country of his birth, his very parents so completely, and has instead so completely identified with the country and family of adoption ?

Sixteenth, there is no proof whatsoever that Sonia has ever taken Indian funds abroad. That proves that she will be able to bring foreign funds to India. There is of course that canard about Ottavio Quatrochi. But that oracle of truth, V.N. Gadgil has already clarified that Quatrochi never, ever knew the Gandhis. Again that is not just negative evidence, it is proof positive -- twice over -- why Sonia deserves to be Prime Minister. Though Quatrochi was never known to them, Sonia has suffered for a decade the slings of calumners in silence. That proves deep reservoirs of inner strength -- of a strength infinitely greater than of Indira Gandhi, of Jawaharlal Nehru to say nothing of the distant Motilal, one and each of whom was in the habit of flying off the handle at the slightest imputation. Notice also that even now, Sonia has left it to V.N. Gadgil to repudiate the canard and affirm that the Gandhis do not know and have never known Quatrochi, she has not done so herself. Notice the same spirit of renunciation : she could have claimed authorship, instead she has let another get the privilege and credit. That shows her magnanimity, her commitment to encouraging young authors. So that makes two further reasons -- seventeen and eighteen.

Nineteenth, Bofors must be stopped. In spite of the ostentatious indifference displayed by our Governments, in spite of the devoted efforts of personages like that courier of The Letter from The Unknown, Madhav Sinh Solanki, the perfidious Swiss, committed as they have always been to looking only to their own selfish interest, have sent the bank papers to India. Disclosure of the details cannot but undermine the trust of our countrymen in their leadership further. It cannot but further demoralize our defence forces -- and who knows, that may lead to a total overthrow of democracy itself : the forces, seeing that someone, even though he was totally unknown to the family of the Prime Minister, was able to inveigle himself into the transaction and make off with the stuff, might conclude that a system which allows such unknowns to intervene even in defence matters is no good, and may therefore stage a coup. Can you guarantee, can you even prove that such a thing will not happen ? Hence, Bofors must be stopped. And about whom can we be more confident in this regard than Sonia ? Her ascension will also uphold the dignity of Parliament : MPs have felt spurned as facts about Bofors have made their way to newspapers before being laid -- right there on the Table, in full glare of TV cameras -- in the House; under Sonia facts will be kept from everyone, and so the dignity of Parliament will never be breached.

Twentieth, the reverse holds as well. Even if the money were to be traced to Rajiv personally, there is no proof whatsoever that Sonia knew what he was doing as Prime Minister and Congress President. It is imperative that the country know what he was doing. He would himself have explained everything, but for his defeat and then the assassination. Since his defeat we have had six Prime Ministers -- none has been able to lead us to the facts that would put us at ease. The only way is to have Sonia become Prime Minister and Congress President. She would then have full access to all that was going on, and thereby be able to relieve the country of the anxiety that anything wrong was ever done.

Twenty-first, as Congress historians have been reminding us, there is precedent, that of Dr. Annie Besant, and at this crucial hour, when we seem all set to lose our moorings and be swept off our feet by foreign mores, it is imperative that we hold fast to our own traditions. And there is manifest continuity : Dr. Annie Besant was for Home Rule, Sonia will ensure Rule from Home. Moreover, by anointing Sonia as the Congress President, and thence Prime Minister, we will not only be sticking fast to our history and tradition, and continuing the struggle from Home Rule to Rule From Home, we will be doing more : remember, at the time in question not only did we have a foreigner as the President of the Congress, we had foreign rule. Sonia's installation would therefore be a first, and giant step towards recreating Mrs. Besant's time in its fullness .

For that we must do. To save our country we must do so. As I have been told on good authority, and as I have reported earlier, none of the solutions we keep peddling out is going to work. The only way is to put an ad. in The London Times,


    But given the alternatives those people have these days, and their experience with Tilak, that other Gandhi and the rest of them just fifty years ago, they will need some act to establish good faith, some -- what was it that Bofors asked for ?, some counter-guarantee -- and installing Sonia will provide the surest assurance to the doubting Clives and Curzons that this time round we are indeed sincere in our invitation....