Cover Story: Sonia Gandhi COMMENTS
Indira and Sonia, two cogs from a dynastic wheel but seemingly very different. What sets the new Mrs G apart?

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Daily Mail
Apr 05, 2010
Her Own Woman

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

Apr 12, 2010
Lady One-Better

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

Mar 13, 2010
02:54 PM
"Paid News Syndrome' working at it's best.
Bangalore, India
Mar 13, 2010
06:24 PM
What a shame that India is led by uneducated maid from Italy and being transformed into some kind of demigod.
toronto, Canada
Mar 13, 2010
06:53 PM
Indira was a proud Hindu.Sonia is a staunch Catholic.That makes all the difference to our country.Despite the Hindus showering all their unalloyed love for her,she is working as the anchor for Vatican,letting loose evangelists to fulfill the Pope's call to'Harvest the Hindus of Hindustan for Christ'.Sonia's innermost circle is barred for Hindus and only conservative Catholics like Oscar Fernandes,Tom Vadakkan and so on are in that exclusive group.
Sonia has brought up both her children as Catholics,which is not a crime in itself.But,when Rahul was asked regarding his religion,he was evasive and gave a stupid answer that his religion was the same as the colour of the national flag.Only stupid Hindus take this matter so lightly.Will Italy allow a Protestant Christian to become the PM or president?
No country in the world hands over it's destiny to a person who was not even interested in not even becoming a citizen of that country.
Just in a decade of Sonia's rule the Christian population in the eastern belt of Orissa,AP,has jumped from a mere 2% to over 6%.But the official figures remain at 2% only,since the converts are asked to declare themselves as Hindus ,to avail all government benifits.
Bangalore, India
Mar 13, 2010
07:50 PM
Khuda jab husna deta hai to nazaqat aa hi jaati hai.
ashok lal
mumbai, India
Mar 13, 2010
08:31 PM
"n 1998, she went to Rashtrapati Bhavan erroneously claiming she had the numbers to form a government"

That happened in 1999-not 1998. Outlook should be more careful with dates and numbers.

BTW, it was NOT an erroneous claim. It was an outright lie.

As for the article, nothing surprising to see from a Congress magazine.
Mar 13, 2010
09:24 PM
“Six years ago Sonia’s Saree was like a ‘Tent’ which gave shade and shelter to perspiring allies but when they all got relaxed and dozed off it changed the genre and turned a ‘Shroud’ for them.”
Rajneesh Batra
New Delhi, India
Mar 13, 2010
09:34 PM
Indira Gandhi:

>> Autocratic, inflexible. Depended on a handful of advisors referred to as the kitchen cabinet. Did not strive for a consensus within her party or the Opposition. Attracted a lot of riff-raff. Was vindictive, aggressive and brazen.

Well said.

But there's something else. too, that needs
to be rememberer: Indira was an economic
illiterate whose MRTP and FERA acts, and
worsening of the License Raj, destroyed
Indian private enterprise for a generation,
with the exception of corrupt party-coffer
fillers like the Ambanis at that time.

When discussing Indira, her terrible
economic legacy, and the tens of
millions of Indians who remained in
desperate poverty thanks to her
leftist ignorance, must never be
forgotten. Journalists - naturally
- talk about the Emergency all the
time, since it was a complete loss
of liberty. But the absence of
economic liberty from around 1958
to 1991 must be remembered, too.
Murtuza Polen
NYC, United States
Mar 14, 2010
01:11 AM
Sonia has the right instincts, is flexible and believes in consultation and team work. She has had her successes and she does not begrudge the successes that the Prime Minister has had. This is a good partnership.
Dallas, United States
Mar 14, 2010
01:35 AM
Sonia Gandhi may be the cleverest Indian
politician in a long time. But it is to
India's shame, and not to its credit, that
Sonia exercises so much power with little
accountability. Would such an arrangement
be even thinkable in the U.S. or EU or any
other liberal democracy? Maybe it's just
another expression of that old cliche:
Only in India could this happen.
The Congress party, like every other Indian
party of significance except the Commies
and the BJP, is a monarchy. Again: would
any of this be acceptable in other mature,
liberal democracies from the UK to Australia?

If Rahul Gandhi becomes Prime Minister in
2014, then how does our polity really differ
from a Bilawal Bhutto, say, as Pakistani PM?

Embarrassing stuff.
Murtuza Polen
NYC, United States
Mar 14, 2010
01:38 AM
As to her foreign status, it is once again
a mark of Indian tolerance, extraordinary
in a country of our income levels, that an
Italian-Indian with a strong Turin accent
can be as politically accepted as she is.

None of this excuses monarchy.

Shame on the emasculated Congress.
Murtuza Polen
NYC, United States
Mar 14, 2010
02:15 AM
"“On a matter of principle, Sonia Gandhi risked the future of her government. That’s a remarkable sets apart the leader from the politician,”

This is extremely absurd. The govt was in no danger whatsoever.
Mar 14, 2010
07:11 AM

Your strumming on the same string-Sonia Gandhi is a foreigner-is like a broken record that isn’t mellifluous to your fellow bloggers here. Xenophobia is your problem and it is your prerogative.

For your information, S.S.Nagaraj, neither was there a mention of Hinduism in anywhere in the Indian mythology nor did anyone report to have exhorted to his followers to spread his teachings on the basis of Hinduism.

Sonia was a foreigner and was married to a former Prime minister and thus became an Indian and she took Indian citizenship. She is living in India with Indian muliebrity is so ubiquitous-from head to toes. A clever politico with shrewdness -she knows when to press the right button and become a winner. Prime ministership was for her taking following the 2004 election and she cleverly opted out to be a kingmaker-here a queen bee- and installed Manmohan Sing instead. By doing so, she has cleverly enhanced her reputation among the Indian earthlings, by and large. She must have realised the tag of being a foreigner will hover over head like a hallo and the uneasiness will remain the head that wears the crown of Prime ministership of India. Her ultimate aim: making her son Prime minister. Whether a foreigner or not, she is making congressmen eat out of her palms and commands respect and getting it.

Who does know what the future holds? After achieving her aim, she may walk into the political sunset with the plaudit of untainted by grafting.

Just imagine, a barmaid from Italy has catapulted to the height of Indian political scene, she is second only to her mother-in-law, Indira Gandhi in political acumen and ,at times, she even leaves her behind and leaving her husband-Rajive Gandhi-even further behind.

Sonia Gandhi’s rise to the higher heights of Indian political scene has hope for a barmaid, whatever the Indian lopsided sneer of a humble barmaid
Scaria Varghese
Melbourne, Australia
Mar 14, 2010
08:28 AM
Sorry,Scaria,it is you who is going off at a tangent with your fixed notions.Instead of giving credit to the maganimity of the Hindus,in allowing a foreigner who did not want to become even a citizen of the country,and that too when she is a conservative Catholic,you are finding great virues in Sonia Gandhi because she happens to be on the winning side.That she was hell bent on becoming the prime minister on blatantly false claim in 1999 that she has 272 MPs with her, speaks for her character.Has this Catholic woman ever exhorted people to follow family planning when population control is the biggest issue in the country?Why did she not condemn the brutal killing of Swami Lakshmananda,whilst she rushed to Orissa when the Australian missionary Graham Staines was murdered and change she CM?Why is she helping a rogue like Quattrochi to take the booty?
Has Scaria heard of the Mandai massacre in Tripura,in which more than 300 innocent Bengali Hindus were murdered by a fanatical Catholic,called Hrangkwal and his wife Lucy? This Hrangkwal and his wife were received by Rajiv,then PM and Sonia,when they were returning from London.There was a front page photo of this in the ever reliable 'Hindu' of Chennai.
Remember,Hussain Obama had to become a Christian,Governor Jindal had to become a Catholic,Jemima had to become a Muslim.But Hindus have never expected Sonia to become a Hindu.Learn to give credit to the Catholicity of Hindus and don't find non-existing virtues in Sonia.
Bangalore, India
Mar 14, 2010
10:14 AM

What can I say? You may have an EDIPUS COMPLEX and you practice what preach. To me, motherhood has sanctity and I place it on a high pedestal to be revered and respected. Your expletives towards me haven’t surprised me a bit because it is always the last refuge of a scoundrel to use expletives. Whether I am a practicing Christian or not is my prerogative. The missive in my post is the truth and truism always hurt and not palate able.
Scaria Varghese
Melbourne, Australia
Mar 14, 2010
10:30 AM
Comments from S.S.Nagraj are quite appropriate. Why blame Sonia alone? Many so called Hindu leaders, like Paswan would like to see a Muslim P.M. for India. If Hinduisim survives, it is certainly a miracle!
OmPrakash Mittal
Sunnyvale, U.S.A.
Mar 14, 2010
11:04 AM

Whenever election come calling, the BJP has the habit of bringing the bogey of Quattrochi bribery scandal to the fore to get traction from the Indian electorate. BJP led government was in power once and the question is-why didn’t BJP led government bring him to book? It shows the Quattrochi bribery scandal is a beat up-a damp squib.

Your litany of other complaints about Congress can also be equated with BJP and corruption is rife in every strata of Indian society.

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat came up last Sunday with a controversial formulation: “He who is an Indian is a Hindu and he is who is not a Hindu is not an Indian.” I copied and pasted exactly as it was reported on the DNA

The aforementioned formulation is offensive to non-Hindus of Indian earthlings and BJP espouses the same formulation, clandestinely of course. Isn’t RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat is the puppeteer and BJP his puppet? BJP moves as he pulls the strings.
Scaria Varghese
Melbourne, Australia
Mar 14, 2010
11:14 AM
>>RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat came up last Sunday with a controversial formulation: “He who is an Indian is a Hindu and he is who is not a Hindu is not an Indian.”

The supreme court of India also came out with a judgement some years ago confirming that Hnnduism is a way of life of all Indians living in India & is not a religious term at all. Mohan bhagwats statement is a similar one.

>>The aforementioned formulation is offensive to non-Hindus of Indian earthlin..

If the supreme court of Indis ruling is offensive to any one, either file a PIL or review petition , or emigrate .btw most of the european democracies have no problem with term Christian & muslim countries proudly call themselves Islamic.. see no reason why the term hinduism should cause so much anguish in India
lookout bug me not
mumbai, India
Mar 14, 2010
12:29 PM
This article reminds me of any old ruler and set of paid people whose job is to praise the ruler . Since there were no professional PR companies at that time these people acted as professional PR guys. We are sayign the same again and only differencd is earlier they did it and admitted they are doing this and now they are doing it in teh name of professinal jounalism
satish mayya
dubai, United Arab Emirates
Mar 14, 2010
12:57 PM
>>> possibly because of her western sensibilities, Sonia keeps a distance from corrupt or controversial figures.

Quite right! Quattrochi, Lalu, Amar, Shibu, Karunanidhi, Jayalalita, T R Balu, A Raja, Sharad Pawar etc. saints are neither corrupt nor controversial.

>>> Indira fought tooth and nail to keep her prime ministership. Sonia simply sacrificed high office to reach new heights.

Quite right again! By placing a puppet in the PM's chair, she obtain entire power with absolutely no accountability. Governor of Jharkhand - Syed Rizvi, flew to Delhi and met her when he was asked to resign by M. M. Singh. On her intervention, he was continued. Andhra governor N D Tiwary was caught on a camera, but before quitting he met her. Which government post she is helding that governors are seeking appointments for a meeting with her?

Had she became PM, she would have got entire power but she would have also held responsible for failures. In the present system, whatever good is happening it is because of her, and all failures are because of others.

>>> If the author feels that she is smarter than India, it is something we should ashamed of that a foreign born lady is calling the shots and the entire government machinery is under her feet.
Pune, India
Mar 14, 2010
03:02 PM
Let Scaria point out a single factually wrong point i have written about Sonia.Every Catholic supports Sonia as a part of Pope's agenda.But Hindus, neither wrote history,nor even read history will lament one day for handing over their destiny to a person who is using Hindu puppets to destroy them.
Bangalore, India
Mar 14, 2010
07:06 PM
Oh, how sweet! No visible Blessed Cross or Rosary. How nicely everything is hidden? As usual Saba has taken particular care not to see it. Yet I am applying for a permanent residential visa in Pakistan. Islam may at least let me pray to my Deity if I agree to pay a fee where as if I remain in India I will certainly lose my prepuce as also my money because the Kingdom that is on the way is coming with the Inquisition to take vengeance for delaying its arrival here.
Will someone kindly let me know the formalities for applying for permanent residence In Pakistan?
c p narendran
nagpur, india
Mar 14, 2010
07:20 PM
Sonia Gandhi must have some special qualities that are not evident in her public persona to have enabled her to achieve her position in spite of her foreign origins, and credit should be given to her for keeping alive the fortunes of her family in the rough and tumble of Indian politics. Having said that, the fact that she has been able to transform herself from an Italian bargirl into the power behind the throne of this country is nothing if not testimony to the feudal nature of the Indian mindset. India has historically been ruled by royal dynasties and the Gandhi family are simply the latest avatar of the Indian royal family, further proof if needed that India is not by nature a democratic country.
Panchkula, India
Mar 14, 2010
09:01 PM
Saba - How could you miss one of Sonia's Key Achievement?

"Nationalization of Media."
Mahesh Adhav
Thane, India
Mar 15, 2010
12:10 AM

i agree that bhagwats formulation is daft to say the least.

all liveing in india who consider themselves indians are
indians. thats not asking for much.

being indian does not bring any great advantage in material
terms, and seldom even in other matters.

regarding sonia gandhi lets say she is an indian, and a cut above many. she has made mistakes and is not flaw less,
but i have changed my mind about her-.

she is pretty good in most ways then those sorrounding her
never mind that she did not go to university.

she has been through the university of life, and managed
with good marks.i would rather have a chat with her then all most all others in the congress party, mayawati, jailalitha, and many others.
gayatri devi
delhi, India
Mar 15, 2010
07:29 AM
BJP’s obsession to Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin was its undoing at the 2004 election. Other issues like, India shining was hubris on BJP’s part and BJP didn’t shine, Quattrochi bribery scandal became a nonissue and didn’t get traction from the electorate. The reason: people, by and large, know Indian polity is mired in corruption. They are only interested in bread and butter issues pertaining to their daily lives. Sonia Gandhi was a wrong target because she has cleverly established her credentials, at least among majority of the Indian earthlings. BJP missed the target.

Again, BJP’s one point agenda for the 2009 election: targeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, accusing him of incompetency. BJP missed the target that Indian earthlings, by and large, know he is beyond reproach-untainted by grafting. Moreover, his steely resolve in winning the Lok Sabha confidence motion didn’t augur with that of a weak man.

The result of the 2009 election revealed that BJP received the biggest drubbing at the hands of the electorate.

Were brain-dead people in charge at the helm for BJP’s election strategy at both elections? One failure is excusable due to hubris and the second one is due to utter stupidity. When is BJP going to learn that smokes and mirror policies are not going to get traction from the electorate?

In any case, BJP’s future as a viable alternative to Congress is a mirage with its current formation. As I have said before, only hope for BJP is reinventing-eschew ultra-Hindu ideologies and embrace all inclusive secularist policies.

S.S.Nagaraj, not that you have point out any factually or otherwise wrong point about Sonia, but, in my opinion, you have a jaundice view about her- as it says person afflicted with jaundice sees everything yellow. My advice to you and your esteemed party, BJP is to give it up-obsession towards Sonia Gandhi. To me, I am not beholden to any political parties, as matter of fact I detest them.
Scaria Varghese
Melbourne, Australia
Mar 15, 2010
11:03 AM
Do I sense a tingle of Racism in these comments, from the very same people who were loudly proclaiming the same recently in respect of attacks on Indian students in Australia. Who said there is no racism in India?
Kai Viti
Sydney, Australia
Mar 15, 2010
11:16 AM
The fact that Sonia G. is a white
Italian-Indian is a very important
point. Consider the opposite case:

If Sonia Gandhi was a jet-black
woman from, say, Burkina Faso,
would she be in the position she
is? What does that say about our
still-primitive attitudes to skin
color? Why do we find Rahul Gandhi,
Omar Abdullah, etc., so appealing?

Hard questions.

No easy answers.

We ought to value minds, not bleached-white faces.
Murtuza Polen
NYC, United States
Mar 15, 2010
11:29 AM
Indira Gandhi made mockery of democracy and the judicial system. Sonia's only qualification is being the widow of an ex pm.She is doing fine job in controlling gullible,lethargic indians. We still are ruled by a white lady who not long ago was still holding on to her Italian passport. She does not go by her own name Marino and hides her and her family's catholic identites well, away from the public.The Vatican is calling the tunes and she is just carrying out and obeying the orders to a T. Please read the article on Sonia by Gurumurthy. She is cunning, I give her that.I would love to see an independent probe into her/her family's personel wealth. Gandhi/ Nehru were the cause of all our present problems and we have inherited this corrupt, amoral,dynasty democracy, thanks to them.
Oh, God, when will India get her true independence?
sydney, Australia
Mar 15, 2010
11:59 AM
Scaria's hare brain assumes i am a BJP man.I am a Hindu and my view point is that the Catholic gang of Sonia and Rahul have clear plans to Christianise vulnerable India.Scaria might not be beholden to any political party,but surely she is awaiting for Popes'agenda to bring Hindus for Christ through that cunning woman Sonia.
Bangalore, India
Mar 15, 2010
01:33 PM
We are fed up of your congress bhajan. Last week it was Manmohan and now its the "Madam". The whole media is completely corrupt with NO EXCEPTIONS. Please keep on publishing scripted interviews/articles with the people who loot the country. Dont you ever feel ashamed? People want change; change in the policies; change in thinking; change in the politics and not just spending lakhs of crores on projects/schemes etc.
What is the point of a government that cant provide enough food, clothing, shelter and security to its citizens? Useless government, useless Sonia and useless PM and yeah, useless media as well.
Kiran Voleti
Chennai, India
Mar 15, 2010
02:55 PM

Everybody knows why UPA govt tabled the women's bill. Everybody knows how UPA Govt behaves in Rajya Sabha during tabling the women's bill. It is BJP which strongly stood up with Govt in introducing the women's bill in Rajya Sabha. I really don't know why the whole media is now praising Sonia for this. Sonia now saying that this bill is Rajiv's dream. Then, why didn't Rajiv introduced this bill during his tenure? He got two thirds majority during his time!! Why didn't UPA supported NDA, when this bill was introduced by NDA Govt.
Hyderabad, India
Mar 15, 2010
10:13 PM
saba naqvi

regarding the two there are several reasons for their different style of functioning.

aaa. indira,s father was jawarlal nehrus, and grand father
was motilal nehru.

sonia,s father was a carpenter, though a proud and upright

bbb there is an age difference of 31 years.

ccc sonia married rahul for love. even after so many years
it shows in her references to her.

indira loved power-

ddd many europeans have a social conscience- at least a bit
of it. i think that sonia is a more sincere person then
indira, though she has slipped badly many times.

indira had no conscience what so ever. she was mean, vindictive and lacked conviction.
gayatri devi
delhi, India
Mar 16, 2010
05:53 AM

I acknowledge your point: conversions. The question is: are these conversions voluntary? Yesteryears overzealous missionaries were reported to have been on their stride with bibles on one hand and guns on the other to cajole and convince first and as a last resort to use force. That is not happening in India, I suppose. In a functioning democracy like India, people have the right to belong to a religion of their choice. There must be laws against forced conversions at states and central government levels.

Catholic gang of Sonia and Rahul have clear plans to Christianise vulnerable Indians is certainly borne out of your paranoia. Vulnerable Indians-Dalits and the so called untouchables-are converting to Christianity hoping to get some respectability and recognition as human beings, being Christians, otherwise they will have the millstones around their necks for the rest of their natural lives as lower caste under the pyramid like structure of Hindu caste system.
Scaria Varghese
Melbourne, Australia
Mar 16, 2010
08:10 AM
Scaria,please understand that the malady of caste system continues even amongst the Christians in India.Please read one of my other comments,as to how the Dalit Christians are discriminated by upper caste Christians in Tamil Nadu.If you have time, scan the matrimonial columns for Christians in Indian newspapers.They ask for Brahmin Christian brides,Nadar christian grooms,Pillai brides and so on.Why should the Dalits convert to Christianity to suffer the same discrimination,if they have to sit separately in the Church,cannot become a pastor,or even be buried in the common cemetery?The great patriot that Ambedkar was,he strongly opposed Dalits embracing Christianity or Islam.He wanted them to embrace a religion born out of Indian soil,and that is how he chose Buddhism.
Bangalore, India
Mar 16, 2010
08:25 AM
>> The great patriot that Ambedkar was,he strongly opposed Dalits embracing Christianity or Islam.He wanted them to embrace a religion born out of Indian soil,and that is how he chose Buddhism

Is it unpatriotic for people of other countries to embrace hindusim or Buddhism? And what about people of countries where no religion is 'born' in their 'soil'?
Bangalore, India
Mar 16, 2010
12:45 PM
GAYATRI/Lalit says -

"... indira had no conscience what so ever. she was mean, vindictive and lacked conviction."

But that is arrant nonsense.

Whether Indira Gandhi was "mean, vindictive ... " is totally irrelevant. She has to be measured by how she performed as the Prime Minister of the nation, not by what sort of a person she was at her personal level. And she performed superbly as the PM in her official capacity.

She has steered the country magnificently through the gravest crisis it faced in recent history. Her leadership was instrumental in standing up to the bullies of Nixon, Kissinger, and last but not least Chou-en-Lai who were the super power in the international hierarchy . It was she who goaded Manekshaw to doc the tail of Pakistan. It was the first time that the Indian nation won a war under her command 2500 years after the great emperor Ashoka - full credit goes to her vision for the Indian nation.

It was she who ordered nuclear testing in defiance of great international pressure for preparing the armed forces to face up to China in future. That must not be forgotten. I doubt whether she would have signed up for the present "Nuclear Deal" with the constraints as they stand.

It is true that emergency was declared during her office, but the whole cabinet (Jagjivan Ram and others) must have decided that. So I will disagree with those who point their fingers just at her for the emergency.

She may not have been "nice" at personal level, but as the Americans say "a nice guy always ends up second in this world". She came "first" !
Pinaki S Ray
Adelaide, Australia
Mar 16, 2010
04:17 PM
'Permanent Resident Disqualification Bill

The Bill provides for disqualification of a woman from being permanent resident of the state on her marriage with a non-permanent resident man and on the termination of marriage of a non-resident woman with a permanent resident husband. It deprives such women from the right to own and inherit immovable property, get state government jobs and other privileges."


All said and done what about Kashmiri women ? Why Congress UNDER SONIA GANDHI has joined hands with NC to deprive Kashmiri females ?

a k ghai
mumbai, India
Mar 16, 2010
08:58 PM
>>>Do I sense a tingle of Racism in these comments, from the very same people who were loudly proclaiming the same recently in respect of attacks on Indian students in Australia. Who said there is no racism in India?

It is not the question of race it is a question of religion which is an equally controversial subject. Whereas in the U.S.A or Australia where it is perfectly alright for its lawmakers not only to flaunt their Christianity but also where it allows Christian divine agents to openly dictate government policy ,in India such a thing becomes an issue of Hindu communalists trying to undermine the state . I am perfectly willing to accept that argument in respect of India that religion should not meddle in politics. But seeing the fact that Sonia Gandhi has been routinely accusing the members of the BJP as communal forces, it is necessary for us to check her credentials in doing so. Here is the starting point of the obfuscation game the congress has been playing with the aid of some of the journalistically semi civilized members of the media and opinion peddlers. Not only they keep us in the dark about the identity of the sky god if any she is addicted to but also pretend that asking such questions amounts to indulging in communalism.
We go in circles here. In these circumstances nothing can look more suspicious about the designs of Sonia Gandhi than the attempts to cover up her true religious color. What makes one get even more suspicious is the role of the press in this infamous affair. It would seem fawning has no upper limit when it comes to writing about Sonia Gandhi. Since the government of hers has been sending its ministers to Vatican at public expenses to take part in some sort of exorcism ceremony I suspect her to be a member of the group whose head the pope is always on the front pages for the wrong reasons, And that bodes ill for India especially because the mighty U.S.A has now put on the mantle of the big shepherd of the ‘true’ believers in association with Saint Peter. The Christian cross wrapped in the U.S flag is its new mascot. The dark ages are on the way. But fortunately there Is Islam
c p narendran
nagpur, india
Mar 16, 2010
09:56 PM
pinaki ray

indira came first.'

india came last.

all her slogans like garibi hatao were gimmicks.

india stayed poor with her misguided socialist policies.
gayatri devi
delhi, India
Mar 16, 2010
11:56 PM
Nothing succeeds like success. No matter how much sangh supporters cry their heart out, she has successfully check-mated parivar. After the sangh mole PV Narsimha Rao and bungling Mamaji had weakened and divided Congress(I), everybody else had written off Congress(I). It is Sonia who has revived it. We are still waiting for Sushma swaraj to shave her head(as she promised).
Kolkatta, India
Mar 16, 2010
11:56 PM
Nothing succeeds like success. No matter how much sangh supporters cry their heart out, but she has successfully check-mated parivar. After the sangh mole PV Narsimha Rao and bungling Mamaji had weakened and divided Congress(I), everybody else had written off Congress(I). It is Sonia who has revived it. We are still waiting for Sushma swaraj to shave her head(as she promised).
Kolkatta, India
Mar 17, 2010
06:30 AM
Gayatri Devi says - "india came last. "

Wrong !

Indira Gandhi incorporated Sikkim within the Indian Union - a great achievement for India on the political front !!! India did come first for her.

But I must concede that Indira Gandhi was nasty to the original GAYATRI DEVI (Rajmata in Rjasthan) - she incarcerated her for a long time.

Our present Gayatri Devi of the forum surely would have fared worse in the hands of Indira Gandhi. Hence the hostility to her in the forum.
Pinaki S Ray
Adelaide, Australia
Mar 17, 2010
10:40 PM
Who is smarter? Indira Gandhi, without a doubt!
There is no comparison! Without the crafty machinations of Indira Gandhi, the other two (Sonia & Rahul) does not exist and will not wield the power they do now.
Indira Gandhi was a wily lady but for all her flaws she was broad-minded enough to accept a white, Catholic woman as a daughter-in-law and allow her to practice her religion in her household.
Sonia does not have it – she was parochial, biased and narrow minded to insist that her children be raised as Catholics. Does not reflect the magnanimity of the Nehru/Gandhi household she walked into or the country she came into! She wanted to shut of exposure to Indic religions during her children’s growing years. (Her children might have changed now, but that decision reflects badly on Sonia). For many Indians that does not provide warmth or acceptance on her part for a country & culture which has given her so much.
Sonia is a poor clone – a simulacrum of Indira Gandhi.
That aside, the photograph above shows the depravity and banality of the Congress Party. They still have to play the piper to the dynasty. There are no other leaders in that party – since 1960s they seem to be in perpetual coagulation.
Priya Madhavan
Rochester, United States
Mar 18, 2010
07:27 AM
I just want Sonia,Rahul,Priyanka to sing the national anthem'Jana Gana Mana'in full.Of course,you can't expect them to sing the 'communal' Vandematharam.Still they are our rulers.Shame on the Hindus to be ruled by this gang.
Bangalore, India
Mar 18, 2010
04:33 PM
some people learn from their own mistakes and some from others.sonia is among the second.while indira was more dynamic and prone to mistakes sonia is calculative.indira gandhi was more of heart and sonia is a leader although it is indira who inspires awe and who ignites a dream.sonia gandhi is just trodding on calculated lines.she is more a schemer than a leader
guwahatai, india
Mar 18, 2010
08:40 PM
>Indira Gandhi incorporated Sikkim within the Indian Union

If truth be told it was Morarji Desai who annexed Sikkim into Indian Union. But then history is what the tint in your glass allows you to see.

In the ongoing hagiography of the Sonia / MMS combine don't be surprised if it was them Sonia / MMS who did the job!
Mar 19, 2010
01:55 AM
I'm not even sure what qualifications Sonia has to be the leader of one billion people. She was put in there by the Indian and international corporate power. Come on, Outlook, who are you fooling?
Tamanna Nipa
New York, United States
Mar 19, 2010
06:08 AM
My contribution to why Sonia Gandhi is better than Indira Gandhi.

In the seventies, Congress and DMK were at loggerheads and once Indira visited TamilNadu. Somebody tried to attack her and the Congress promptly filed a case against the DMK chief for attempted murder. A few years later, Indira had no compunction in aligning with the same DMK whom she accused of attempting to murder her.

Sonia went one step better. Citing the Jain commission report, she pulled the plug on the UF govt giving the reason that it had DMK ministers. And the Jain commission had indicated that DMK's support to LTTE had created an environment for Rajiv's murder. Six years later, she had no compunction in aligning with the same DMK. This I think betters Indira's though people may differ.

What is astounding is the attitude of the Nehru family. You can be accused of killing the person or killing the husband. And yet if the accused can bring votes, Nehru family is broadminded enough to forgive all sins. Nobody has such compassion and forgiveness in the annals of history.
Mar 19, 2010
07:55 AM
"If truth be told it was Morarji Desai who annexed Sikkim into Indian Union." -

Technically YES since Desai was PM when parliament passed the necessary bills.

But the political decision to "incorporate" was taken in the aftermath of Indo-Pak war by Mrs Gandhi in 1972. And the move for this took place during her rule. It takes long time in International Affairs to complete a process due to paper shuffling.

Had Mrs Gandhi won the election second time around, this political event would have fallen under her leadership. Morarji Deasi simply took the credit by being at the right position at the right time whereas the ball had started rolling much earlier.

One must not forget the fact that Morarji Desai had blocked funds being the finance minister for purchase of military hardware just prior to the Indo-China war !

I would use the term "incorporate" rather than "annex" since the latter carries other connotations. Delhi inherited military treaties with the Kingdoms of Sikkim and Bhutan as the successor of British India, just it had the treaty with Tibet. Indian Army had their posts in Nathu La (Sikkim) ever since 1950s. In 1967 there was flare up with the Chinese at the Nathu La post, when the Indians smashed through the Chinese positions in Tibet by artillery bombardment. This had not been publicised in the media for understandable reasons and the events are not widely known. But the Military Observers of the world have studied that skirmish in great depth for understanding Chinese tactics.
Pinaki S Ray
Adelaide, Australia
Mar 22, 2010
05:40 PM
If anybody wants to know the background of Sonia Gandhi, please read , "Do you know your Sonia", by Dr. Subrmanian Swamy at
Rakesh Babu G R
Bangalore, India


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