Behind the Facade of Priyanka Gandhi - The Genesis of Tyranny
"Yeh Hamara Kshetra Hai" (This is our area!) thundered the nasal voice from the campaign platform at Rae Bareli. Sound like a mobster declaring his turf? Nope, it was the voice of the 28 year old inheritor of the Gandhi family's branded glamour puss, the Great White Hope for a nation composed of nearly a billion "darkies", the future Empress of India's underprivileged herself, Shrimati Priyanka Vadhra Gandhi. The Indian media has found itself a new goddess to worship. The object of their affection is the product of the union between Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi. This election campaign has revealed that come hell or high water, the Indian press has taken it upon itself to groom and project this 28 year old half Italian, as the future leader of India.
Elaborate mythologies and biographies have already been concocted for future editorials about her. The past months have exposed this little game of the newspapers as everyday's headlines were peppered with effusive eulogies in praise of Priyanka. From her choice of Sari on a given day to her "striking" resemblance to Indira, to the number of Jalebis that she consumed at Achhe Lal's shop, every minute boring moment of Priyanka Vadhra's life seems to be the subject of unmitigated interest to her devout Bhakts from the Indian Press. It doesn't seem to make any difference to them that the general public could give two hoots about the color of Priyanka's Saree. So it's pretty clear what the motivations of the press are, to act as the manipulators who are preparing the ground for Priyanka's crowning. Given the utter failure of Sonia Gandhi to project herself as a viable political leader of the Indian masses, the agenda seems to have shifted now to focus on Priyanka the hope of the future for Congress.
Given the fact that someday we may well be faced with the prospect of having to suffer Priyanka Vadhra as a Prime ministerial candidate, it behooves us to investigate further and do a little analysis on what this young woman is truly like starting with her family background.
It's quite apparent that Priyanka is representative of the newest generation of the Gandhi family which has ruled Indian politics for over fifty years. The legacy of the Gandhi family is also unquestionable, beginning with the Socialist nightmares created for India by her great grandfather, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in the 50's, the overwhelming dictatorial powerlust of her grandmother Indira Gandhi and uncle Sanjay Gandhi in the 70's, all the way to the Corrupt greed of her father Rajiv Gandhi in the 80's and subsequently the unbounded ambitions of her Catholic Italian mother Sonia Gandhi during the 90's. Given the mind boggling range of criminal activities practiced by her antecedents, Priyanka sure has a tough act to follow. But she has already proven her family credentials by following the Gandhi family tradition of failing to graduate from college.
The tradition of illiteracy in the Gandhi family dates all the way back to 90 years ago when Jawaharlal Nehru was somehow able to manage an academic degree from an accredited college in London. Since then the members of the list of famous Gandhis from Indira, Feroze, Rajiv, Sanjay, Sonia and Maneka never had the ability to get an academic degree. Priyanka herself dropped out of Delhi University a few years ago. The Indian media however has always maliciously falsified this fact about her qualifications. Press report after press report always casually mentions that "Priyanka graduated from Delhi University a few years ago, following which she taught briefly at a Delhi school for children with spastic paralysis." Priyanka's aunt Maneka Gandhi has directly contradicted this falsification by stating on record that not a single member of the Gandhi family (including Priyanka) has been able to get a degree in the past 90 years.
Considering the immensely wealthy empire that the Gandhi empire has built via all sorts of fraudulent schemes which have robbed India of billions, it is only natural that Priyanka has grown up with despotic tendencies. She was a pampered, spoilt brat who received any thing that her heart desired and created the impression early in her psyche , that the being a Gandhi is somehow "superior" to being just any ordinary mortal. This tendencies were coupled with her mother Sonia's bigoted sense of superiority over Indians. It is a fact that Sonia Gandhi maintained her closest friendships with only "White" Europeans who were present in India for the sake of business or on diplomatic missions. Another fact that distinctly influenced Priyanka is the fact that Sonia Maino always has been and still is an exceedingly devout Roman Catholic.
Priyanka's father Rajiv had to convert to Catholicism himself in order to marry Sonia. This is because Sonia is a baptized Catholic and the Catholic Church would not solemnize her wedding to Rajiv unless he specifically converted to Christianity. That Priyanka was raised in a strictly Christian setting is apparent from her choice of husband and her voluntary participation in missionary work for the Missionaries of Charity. Priyanka's earliest role models include her imperious grandmother Indira Gandhi, her father Rajiv Gandhi and the most unabashed proselytizer of them all, Mother Teresa. Years ago Rajiv had commented about Priyanka, "She is strong-willed like my mother,". This comparison with a grandmother who treated India as her own personal fiefdom, was to leave a lingering impression on Priyanka. Her physical resemblance to Indira Gandhi as well as similarity of certain mannerisms had her convinced that like Indira, it was somehow Priyanka's destiny to "save" India, through her innate leadership.
By her own admission, Priyanka has said " Ever since I was a little girl Indiraji was a role model. But as I grew up I became more and more influenced by my father. But I have consciously tried not to model myself on anyone. I am me. Priyanka Gandhi." The traces of conceit are already self-evident in her assertive retort that she is a unique individual with power and potency in her own right. In contrast to Priyanka's assertiveness, one of her only two competitor's to the Gandhi mantle, her younger brother Rahul displays an awkwardness and the type of submissive behavior, which does not a leader make. In comparison to Priyanka's strong and colorful demeanor, Rahul looks like an insipid hanger on. Much of his lack of self-esteem can be attributed to the explosive secret that Rahul Gandhi is in fact mentally retarded. His mental handicap has been well hidden by the Gandhi family and the unconscionable press.
Rahul was in fact refused permission to some of Delhi's top institutions because of his mental handicap. A frustrated Gandhi family had then pulled strings at Harvard, where a quota of seats is always available for a price to the rich and famous. Since then Rahul was bundled off to the US and later UK much as his father Rajiv Gandhi had been packed off to Cambridge in the hopes that he would somehow muddle through an academic degree. Rajiv of course never passed a single test at Cambridge and instead of bringing home a degree came back with an equally illiterate Catholic au pair of Italian extraction as his wife. Following in his father's footsteps, Rahul too has come back without a degree to his name, and a fair skinned South American Catholic girlfriend on his arm.
To Priyanka therefore the fact that her brother Rahul hardly counts has competition has further strengthened her self-glorification and firm belief that she is the only legitimate heir to the crown of Congress and India's leadership. Her mother Sonia has encouraged this quality at every step knowing full well that Priyanka possesses the very traits which alienate Sonia from the masses, chief among them being Priyanka's ability to talk fluently in Hindi. Priyanka's qualifications for her trusteeship in the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation are laughingly listed as "her experience as a teacher and educationist". The Foundation is of course nothing but a front for Sonia and kids to siphon off millions of rupees from the Indian taxpayer. They have refused to allow their accounts to be audited for over five years. Another alarming clue to the personality of Priyanka can be ascertained from her mother, Sonia's beliefs. In her book "Rajiv" (which she co wrote with Priyanka) Sonia focuses on the divine right of this family, in its destiny to serve India, to serve it as "sacrificial goats" as she puts it. Sonia believes to the point of superstition that any member of the Gandhi family who enters politics starting with her husband, would be killed. She wrote that Rajiv Gandhi was offered as a sacrificial lamb and that she fought like a tigress but failed from preventing him being served on the altar of the national cause. No doubt Sonia's desire to see herself and her children as martyr's stems from her Catholic beliefs. It is a horrifying thought that Priyanka must have absorbed such perverse self-aggrandizement about her own role as a martyr for the sake of India.
This belief in her destined superiority was reinforced with the recent focus of media attention on Priyanka. she basked in the limelight as the reporters fell over each other in their eagerness to describe the "youth, beauty and fearlessness of her manner". Page upon page was written to attest to her immense popularity with the common public. Paeans of praise were penned about her disarming ability to "reach out and touch the hearts of the poorest" in what can only be termed as the natives' repulsive display of adoration for the white-skinned goddess. Her husband Robert Vadhra and sister in law Michelle, both devout Catholics have jumped on the bandwagon, accompanying her wherever she goes.
Priyanka's wedding itself was one of the biggest exercises in fooling the public. Her husband Robert Vadhra is a baptized devout Catholic, the son of Rajinder and Maureen Vadhra who are both confirmed Catholics. This detail can be attested from the fact that the Delhi archdiocese had made a big ruckus about the fact that Priyanka was not baptized when they sought permission to get married in a Catholic ceremony at the Sacred Heart Cathedral of Delhi. Robert had to produce his Baptism papers and Priyanka had to produce proof of her conversion to Christianity, before they could be married in the Catholic ceremony at Sacred Heart Cathedral at 10.30 am on February 5, 1997. This was hastily followed by a publicity exercise where the already married couple was shown being wedded in "traditional Hindu style" on February 18, 1997 at Sonia's Bungalow on 10 Janpath. The fact that this was a completely superficial and fake ceremony to fool the Indian public into believing the myth that the Gandhi family follows traditional Hindu customs, was given away by the glittering wedding ring on Priyanka's finger. There is no custom of wearing a wedding ring among Hindus.
Robert Vadhra himself is the perfect foil to Priyanka's ambitiousness. He is a chubby, college dropout, usually termed as a "non-descript jewelry exporter from Meerut". The truth however is quite different. Robert is the heir to a family business which has made its fortune through the illicit secret smuggling of rare Hindu and Buddhist Antiques. His family business, Artex (Stands for Art Exports) is famous for its stock of antique brassware and jewelry, the majority of which, unbeknownst to the Indian public has been smuggled from national heritage sites and museum collections. Sonia Gandhi herself is an old hand at the antiques trade, her own house being a testament to this interest. Thousands of rare antiques are smuggled from India, many of them come from the Indira Gandhi Foundation which has a priceless collection of paintings and antique objects of art.
Given her frightening proclivity to emulate her imperious grandmother and the imperious display of authority that Priyanka often indulges in, it is clear that she considers herself the destined heir to the throne of power. Her recent outburst in Rae Bareli against her own uncle Arun Nehru, is proof enough of the fact that Priyanka Gandhi will not let principles or ethical proprieties stand in her naked thirst for power. The vitriolic tone of her speech in Rae Bareli is chilling. In bitter accent, Priyanka exhorted the crowd that
"Mujhe aap se ek shikayat hai. Mere pita ke mantri-mandal mein rehte hue jisne gaddari ki, bhai ki peeth mein chura mara - jawab dijiye - aise aadmi ko aap ne yahan ghusne kaise diya? Unki yahan aane ki himmat kaise hui? (I have a complaint against you (the people). A man who was a traitor in my father's Cabinet, who stabbed him in the back - answer me - how dare you let such a man set foot in this constituency? How dare he have the insolence to come here?"
When she noticed the audience's shocked expression, Priyanka hastily went into her well orchestrated explanation. "Yahan aane se pehle maine apni maa se baat ki thi. Maa ne kaha kisi ki burai mat karna. Magar main jawan hoon, dil ki baat aap se na kahun to kisse kahun? (I spoke to my mother before coming here. She told me not to speak badly of anyone. But I am an adult, and if I cannot say what is in my heart to you, then to whom else can I speak?"
"Mujhe yahan aa kar garv mehsoos ho raha hai. Yeh Indiraji ki karmbhoomi hai. Woh meri daadi hi nehin thi, sari janata ki maa bhi thi. Indiraji ke baad Rae Bareli mein koi vikas nahin hua." (I am filled with pride at coming here. This is the place where Indira Gandhi's did her work. She wasn't just my grandmother but the mother of you all! After Indiraji, no progress has happened in Rae Bareli)
And then at the end, Priyanka's arrogance let loose in an unrestrained rush. "Yeh hamara Kshetra hai!" she shreiked from the ramparts. "This is OUR land", pronounced the self styled future savior of India's ignorant masses, in a bone chilling tone. Just like her great grandfather, her grandmother, her uncle and her mother Priyanka Vadhra Gandhi is at last displaying the true colors behind her facade. And that face is one of utter lust for power, unabashed arrogance and a firm belief in her destiny as the leader of India. To Priyanka Gandhi, Rae Bareli and the rest of India unquestionably BELONG to her. In typical Gandhi family style, she doesn't care about the rights or even the opinions of Indians, she claims suzerainty over India as her birthright. In all of her campaign speeches, she has shown not the slightest inclination to talk about any of the real issues. The subject of her exhortations to the crowd has always been the debt that they owe to her family for having saved them from a fate, that according to Priyanka, was worse death, Priyanka's message to the Indian public is clear, "You owe us and we own you." The other leaders of Congress experience the everyday humiliation of have been sidelined and contemptuously ignored by the new "Madame" in town.
If this is not dynastic rule then what is?? If these are not the clear cut characteristics of a tyrannical despot, then what are? A bemused Atal Bihrai Vajpayee was heard starting his election speech in Rae Bareli with the half jesting comment that he was afraid to step in Rae Bareli as this area belonged to the Gandhis, according to Priyanka. And then in a heartening rejoinder that echoes the outrage of a democratic nation of close to one billion Indians, the prime minister of India said in measured terms," From Kashmir to Kanyakumari India is one country and people are free to move anywhere they liked. Nobody but Nobody (Not even Priyanka Gandhi) can impose restrictions on the coming and going of another person. Such is not the language commonly tolerated in democracies."
It is highly doubtful whether a self styled future tyrant like Mrs. Priyanka Vadhra, who is being groomed to consider India as her personal property and Indians as her personal minions, will ever see things in the context of democracy. For the latest heir of the Gandhi dynasty, the fate of India always has and always will be, at the mercy of their family's personal and private autocracy