Smarter than Indira (Mar 22)? No chance. Without the original Mrs G’s crafty machinations, Sonia and son would not be wielding the power they do now. Sonia’s but a poor clone—a simulacrum—of Indira. As for reservation for women, it’s more drama than serious intent. There’s no way the 15-year cap will hold. In 15 years, there will be more drama and demonstration on the streets and the bill will be extended indefinitely—like all ‘reservation’. Priya Madhavan, Rochester
A nation’s leaders must be judged not on the grounds of contemporaneous events and reactions but from the heights of history. Sonia restored inner party democracy and unlike Indira now claims the Congress party and PM-ship not as a dynastic legacy but as one to be gained through commitment to the service of the people. In this context, though I am a Congress-baiter, I salute the self-abnegation of Sonia Gandhi and consider her an ideal and shrewd strategist far above her mother-in-law. S.M. Kompella, on e-mail
Sonia is smarter, yes, if being smarter means more humane, considerate, accommodative and persuasive. Less, if it means being dictatorial, despotic and manipulative. Rakesh Agrawal, Dehradun
Indira and Sonia are poles apart. Sonia at least is trying to undo some damage by establishing democratic institutions and purging corruption and criminalisation from politics. Richa Jayal, Dehradun
What differentiates Indira from Sonia is what makes IG the most memorable icon of post-independent India. S. Jafri, Kheri, UP
After Rajiv’s assassination, the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty was left dangling by a thin thread. Sonia was a foreigner, a political novice, a woman and a Catholic. All she had was the Gandhi name. That’s been enough. Alastair Murray, Panchkula
Does anyone really care whether Sonia is smarter than Indira? It’s precisely because of your persistence with non-issues that I’m giving up on your magazine. Mr Mehta, I suggest you personally (not the magazine) reinvent yourself. You seem utterly jaded, all because of the circles you move in. Anand Pandya, Mumbai
Some learn from their own mistakes and some from the mistakes of others. Sonia is among the second. While Indira was more dynamic and prone to mistakes, Sonia is quietly calculating. Indira Gandhi was more heart, Sonia is more head. As a leader, Indira inspires awe. Sonia Gandhi is just treading on measured lines. Angarag, Guwahati
Sonia is like Sachin Tendulkar who is at his best when he is not the team captain. S. Vasudev, Chennai
India has historically been ruled by royal dynasties and the Nehru-Gandhi family is simply the latest avatar of the Indian royal family, further proof if needed that India is not by nature a democratic country. Ali, Panchkula
Your cover story is a fitting reply to those critics who questioned Sonia’s capability on account of her Italian origins. Deenadayal, on e-mail
We are fed up of this Congress bhajan. Last week, it was Manmohan; now it’s Madam. Don’t you feel ashamed? People want change; change in the policies; change in thinking; change in the politics of this country. It’s a useless government, useless Sonia and useless PM and, yeah, useless media as well. Kiran Voleti,Chennai
It’s like olden times, a king’s court and paid jesters to sing his praises. Now they are doing it in the name of professional journalism. Satish Mayya, Dubai
Oh, how sweet! No visible blessed cross or rosary. C.P. Narendran, Nagpur
Sonia’s only qualification is being the widow of an ex-PM. She is doing a fine job, but only in controlling these gullible, lethargic Indians. We are still ruled by a white lady who till not long ago was holding on to her Italian passport. When will India get true independence? Rama, Sydney
Sonia, with her concern for the people of India, is reaping rich benefits, din doguni raat chowguni. Syed Alfatah Manzoor, Bangalore
I’m not even sure what qualifications Sonia has to be the leader of one billion people. She was put there by the machinations of the Indian and international corporate world. Tamanna Nipa, New York
How could you miss one of Sonia’s key achievements, the ‘nationalisation of the media’? Mahesh Adhav, Thane
Paid News at its best. S.S. Nagaraj, Bangalore
Nothing succeeds like success. No matter how much Sangh supporters cry their hearts out, Sonia Gandhi has successfully checkmated the Sangh parivar. After the Sangh mole P.V. Narasimha Rao and the bungling mamaji had weakened the Congress, everyone had written off the party. It was Sonia who revived it single-handedly. And we are still waiting for Sushma Swaraj to shave her head as she had promised. Kishore Dasmunshi, Calcutta
The women’s reservation bill was first introduced by the H.D. Deve Gowda government in 1996. A Left MP from Bengal, Geeta Mukherjee, first conceptualised it. It was the BJP which as a party first supported the bill. Sonia had not even joined politics then. Why give undue credit to her? Arun R., Bangalore
It is the BJP which stood up with the government in introducing the women’s bill in the Rajya Sabha. I don’t know why the whole media is now praising Sonia for this. Mrs G is now saying that this bill was Rajiv’s dream. Then, pray, why didn’t Rajiv introduce this bill during his tenure? He had two-thirds majority during his time, didn’t he? And why did the Congress not support the nda when this bill was introduced by them earlier? Krishna, Hyderabad
Nothing is nearer the truth than your assertion that Sonia Gandhi has proved better than her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi. I wish her success. Maj S.S. Khosla (Retd), Ludhiana
Sonia Gandhi may not be as astute and shrewd a politician as her mother-in-law, but her faith in the leaders she chooses has helped her get a grip on the party. Moreover, she’s not power-hungry, like Indira Gandhi, who always worked in an arbitrary manner. Manoj Parashar, Greater Noida
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