An attempt to know, understand (and ultimately, transform) that which occurs on the fields of play - India (her politics, media, music) and beyond ...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Puppeteer Drops the Strings (For Now, Apparently)

The Saint Puppeteer has resigned!

[Congress president] Sonia Gandhi today announced her resignation from the Lok Sabha and as chairperson of the National Advisory Council [NAC] ...

Although this resignation gives me much glee, it's not yet time to call for full-fledged celebrations. After all, what difference will it make to governance? Manmohan and the rest of the Congress (and much of the media) will continue to be the serfs (puppets) of the Nehru-Gandhi family. The NAC is but a mechanism to convey a sense of legitimacy to the puppeteer-puppet relationship of the Sonia-Manmohan duo. If it's a problem for Sonia to head the NAC and be an MP, just do away with the NAC, or her MP-status or devise another mechanism. For a lady who was once the leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party without even being an MP, it won't be a stretch manipulating Manmohan and the rest of the puppets of the UPA Govt. without being in Parliament.

Oh, but wait, she plans to contest elections again. So how is the Congress going to deal with the situation then? When she wins the elections to become an MP again burns more public money, will she head the NAC again? Or does the Congress hope that, by then, everyone will have forgotten about the office-of-profit issue? [Natwar Singh who? Quattrochi who? Buta who? ... And, what's with this whole "should not hold an office of profit while being an MP" business? The office of the MP itself is an office of profit!]

The script that Madame Puppeteer reads from is straight from the I-am-doing-it-for-you-not-for-me spirit that characterizes the Nehru-Gandhi family.

'I have stated earlier also that I am in politics and public life not for my selfish ends,' [Sonia] said. 'I have taken a pledge to serve the people of the country and to protect secular ideals. So, in keeping with my public life and political principles and according to my own belief, I resign as member of the Lok Sabha and chairperson of National Advisory Council. '
She said she would contest again from the same constituency.

Arun Shourie wrote brilliantly in 1998 in The Asian Age:

The first and second halves of the 20th century hold three lessons. These are: all the sacrifices made were made by the Nehru-Gandhi Family, and it is because of those sacrifices that the country has risen to the heights it has, second, that no one else has made or makes sacrifices, and that is why the country is on the verge of breaking into fragments. Third, and most important for the future, that everything the Nehru-Gandhi Family does is a sacrifice.

If they do not accept the prime ministership, they are sacrificing the comforts, the pomp and show that go with the highest office. If they do accept it, they are sacrificing their own inclinations, they are sacrificing their personal interests and promising careers. If they accept security, they are sacrificing their privacy. If they do not, they are sacrificing their lives.

The fanclub is in full swing, simultaneously proclaiming a moral victory for The Puppeteer, begging her to reconsider her resignation, burning effigies and making asses of themselves. Here is a sampling:

Taking the wind out of the Opposition's sails ... [Rediff]

This is her second act of giving up a politically important position, the first being her refusal to take up the prime ministership soon after the Congress-led UPA was voted to power in May 2004. [Rediff]

Hailing her 'sacrifice', Congress supporters refused to disperse saying they will not go back until Sonia took back her resignation.

Girish Gupta, youth Congress leader from Indore, said, "Our leader has again made a supreme sacrifice. We are with her in the struggle."

Manmohan Singh, making a statement on Sonia Gandhi's resignation as a Lok Sabha MP and also as the Chairperson of the National Advisory Council, said: "Sonia is the tallest leader. She is a leader of rare committment to moral values."

Tell me something new, guys: don't recycle these tall tales of morality. It gets tedious after a while. The "tallest leader" had absolutely no qualms about violating the Constitution for 2 years. She discovers her moral sense (a.k.a the inner voice) only when the EC is on the verge of disqualifying her and when the UPA's brazen attempts (at specifically passing an ordinance for her benefit) could not get off the ground!

Before I forget, here's the headline of an earlier IBN-Live news report (not an editorial): BJP, SP out to rob Sonia of LS seat. Media neutrality: what's that?

Happily, this is my 75th post!


  • At 6:48 AM, Blogger Today's Journal said…

    Brilliant analysis...Keep up the good work....

  • At 7:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    March 23, 1931 a very important and sad day. March 23 always to be remembered. A true and sincere dedication needed to commomorate the HEROES, nay Martyrs' BHAGAT SINGH, RAJGURU and SUKHDEV... who gave up their primes definitely not to suck up to charlatans...
    Etymology: Italian ciarlatano, alteration of cerretano, literally, inhabitant of Cerreto, from Cerreto, Italy

  • At 9:46 AM, Anonymous mohit said…

    also see interesting articles related to this at:


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