Thursday, January 28, 2010

Greatness is exclusively a family thing

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    • A Surya Prakash
    • The Nehru-Gandhis have always been parsimonious in acknowledging the contributions of national leaders other than those who belong to their family. This is a trait that is obvious from the days of Jawaharlal Nehru, when everything was done to suppress the contribution of Sardar Patel, who successfully integrated 564 princely states and gave us a united India and B R Ambedkar, who presided over the Constitution Committee. The same trend continued when Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were at the helm. Sonia is obviously carrying forward the family tradition.
    • But suppression of Rao’s achievements is not the only thing. The bigger crime is the spurious attempt by her to credit Rao’s signal achievements on the economic front to her late husband, Rajiv Gandhi. There is another family trait it appears, namely, to appropriate the achievements of others, be it that of Sardar Patel, Ambedkar or Narasimha Rao. She makes the extraordinary claim that Rajiv Gandhi ushered in the information revolution and that the party’s manifesto of 1991 became the basis for economic policies over the next five years, ‘which imparted new strength and direction to our economy and society’, meaning thereby that Rao deserved no credit at all for what he achieved as prime minister.

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