Indira Gandhi’s grandsons occupy center stage
Controversy it appears has propelled Indira Gandhi’s grandson Varun Feroze Gandhi on the center stage of politics bringing him face to face with his older cousin Rahul Gandhi who by all accounts is considered in political circles as the inheritor of his grandmother’s political legacy.
The two have ensured that the focus of these polls will be on youth and many older aspirants will have to use all their experience and skill to keep themselves in limelight.
Varun Feroze who is set to contest his first Lok Sabha polls this summer has hogged headlines in the media primarily because of a speech being attributed to him wherein he has criticized muslims.
It is for the authorities to determine whether he said what he is being accused of saying but the controversy has ensured that till the poll process is over, Sanjay Gandhi’s son will get as much media attention as anybody else in these polls.
In fact, the controversy will now compel media groups to depute one person with Varun so that each and every word he says gets covered. In the process, the young leader who is in the BJP, a party ideologically opposite to what Indira Gandhi stood for, will get unlimited media mileage.
In fact, he could end up hogging more media space than even the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate LK Advani and its other controversial face Narendra Modi. The less said about other second rank leaders the better.
By declaring that he is a devout Hindu, Varun is likely to get a lot of support from the RSS and attempts to sidetrack him by many top BJP leaders may therefore not necessarily succeed.
Destiny plays funny tricks. Who could have thought that while Rahul Gandhi is preparing to take over the leadership of the Congress, his cousin could be likely future leader of India’s main opposition party. If that was to happen, the two grandsons of Indira Gandhi, arguably the greatest mass leader in 20th century would hold the most important political space.
But politics can be cruel and many times things to not happen as they are planned. Indira Gandhi had wanted her younger son Sanjay to be the future leader of the country but he died tragically in an air crash on June 23, 1980, a few months after Varun was born.
I can recall this very vividly since I covered both, Varun’s birth as well as Sanjay’s air crash as a young reporter. The tragedy forced Ms Gandhi to bring in a reluctant Rajiv Gandhi on to the center stage of Congress politics. Rajiv led very well but he was assassinated just before he may have regained the Prime Ministership.
Rahul is now showing a lot of promise and is being groomed by his mother, Sonia Gandhi who has during the 11 years of her active political life led the Congress to victory in 16 states and to the center.
What will happen in the future no one can tell but I find it very interesting that destiny has brought the two cousins on the center stage. It is for them to take off from here and for people to decide which way the country should go from here. It was a quick thought so I am putting it on my blog.