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Distinctly democratic dynasty - Organiser

Satiricus ()
January 18, 1998

Title: Distinctly democratic dynasty
Author: Satiricus
Publication: Organiser
Date: January 18, 1998

Like all Indians Satiricus is at heart a hero worshipper. So he
likes to read the lives of great men. Such reading improves his
small mind with its ennobling influence. It is therefore quite
natural that Justice Jain's biography of Shri Rajiv Gandhi should
profoundly affect him. It has also disabused his mind ..of so
many slanderous misconceptions that this ignoramus was harbouring
due to BJP, Bofors and other bad elements. Satiricus, of course,
had seen Rajivji a number of times and had been duly impressed.
But was he enchanted? Was he hypnotised? Was he mesmerized? Alas!
He was not, but Justice Jain was. For the Jain Commission
biography ecstatically observes : "His (Rajiv Gandhi's) smiling
face and his pattern of behaviour and his manners were so
attractive and appealing that would turn his foes into friends."
How beautifully, though ungrammatically, put! But why did that
charming smile and that appealing manner not turn Satiricus from
Rajivji's foe into Rajivji's friend? Firstly, because he was not
a foe, just a fellow-citizen who wanted to know if Shakespeare
was right when he wrote, "A man may smile and smile and yet be a
villain". "Justice Jain's encomium is sycophantic writing", said
a Supreme Court advocate, who rudely added, "Never before has a
judge written in this manner." Satiricus violently disagrees. How
could anyone be charged with being a sycophant where the divine
dynasty was concerned? Why, a Congressman saying anything less
than that about a Nehru-Gandhi would be condemned as a beastly
BJP man. Satiricus recalls that furious Congressmen had hounded
a former President of India for writing less than flattering
things about Rajiv. And that was as it should have been. For,
after all there has to be a respectful distinction between the
divine dynasty and mere mortals like Satiricus. Actually, Justice
Jain was far from sycophantic. For he downgrades the dynasty by
calling it just a family. He begins his chronological account of
Rajiv Gandhi's life with his birth in a family of "freedom-
fighters, great leaders and statesmen". Well, now, Satiricus
knows a few freedom-fighters, but how many of them had the
freedom to send their soiled clothes to a laundry in Paris? How
many of them were served the wine of their choice while in
prison? Satiricus also knows a couple of leaders and statesmen
>from close quarters, but have they shown their firm faith in
democracy by grooming their children and grandchildren for
inheriting their leadership? Have they shown the statesmanship of
complicating the Kashmir problem for half a century? And have
they shown the political acumen required for pulling defeat out
of the jaws of victory in successive Indo-Pak wars? If not, why
not? Because they did not have the sense to be born in the one
and only family that counts in a country of over ninety crore
people. Anyway, on the fateful day of his mother's assassination
Rajiv was "far far away from her... when he was extremely grieved
and undergoing trauma he dashed to Delhi and the nation's
responsibility fell on his shoulders". Now Satiricus has a heart,
so he can understand the extreme grief and the trauma, but he
does not have much of a brain, so he cannot understand how the
entire nation's responsibility can be automatically transferred
>from mother to son., He can still less understand it when Justice
Jain himself says Rajiv Gandhi was "not cut for politics". Can a
man become the political head of the country if he is "not cut
(out) for politics" simply by virtue of his being his mother's
son? The answer is yes, he can, if he is born to Indira that is
India. And "once he plunged into politics he made a mark
himself=94. How true! He entered politics as 'Mr Clean' and he
scrupulously guarded his reputation for cleanliness by declaring
that he did not take bribes. Has any other Indian prime minister
such a resounding declaration to his credit? Not to Satiricus'
knowledge. So Satiricus firmly believes that Mr Clean had clean
Swiss accounts of only a few thousand crores and this his
generous support to the Swiss economy was only a part of his
internationalism. In fact, as Justice Jain so rightly says, "his
(Rajiv's) achievement in the international field was
significant". Of course, of course! Was it not Rajiv Gandhi who
declared during a visit to a Muslim country that India had a
Muslim history? What more significant service to international
secularism could there be? Was it not Rajiv Gandhi "a champion of
human rights", for whom "apartheid was a blot on civilisation"?
Did anyone ever have such an absolutely original thought? In
short, Rajiv Gandhi was the one leader India ever needed. In
fact the world could not have done without him. That this world
includes Bofors and banks is incidental. So Satiricus has a
humble suggestion for Justice Jain-how about developing this
profound profile into a full-fledged biography? After all, the
ignoramuses in the BJP need to be educated on the central fact
that in Indian democracy all poops on those in the BJP-we equal
but the Nehru-Gandhis are and must continue to be far more equal.

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