A long night with Rajiv Gandhi



I can hardly believe that it is two decades since the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.

Just a few days before he was killed he was campaigning in Bombay. I was working for a wire service at the time and my Bureau Chief had given me stern instructions: the then union government had withdrawn his security cover and Rajiv was a sitting duck for assassins. “Even if a hair on his head is touched, I want us to be the first on the wires. You will not lose sight of him for even a second.”

It was the era before mobile phones and then Election Commissioner TN Seshan had not yet formulated his stern measures to discipline election expenditure. There was no 10 pm deadline on campaigning. I knew it would be a long night.

Rajiv landed at the Bombay airport four hours past his scheduled arrival at 5pm. Then he held an impromptu press conference in the airport lounge. Most reporters were satisfied with that and disappeared for the night. I had no choice but to stay on.

Rajiv was holding corner meetings that night. He started from the north end of the city at Mulund at 10pm and ended in the morning at 5am at Nagpada. I dashed to a restaurant that was just closing at 11pm to file my first report on the phone. The second, I told the desk, would come only in the morning because I could not now wake up people in their homes to make phones calls to office.

I recall there was a correspondent from the Hindi media with me at midnight. But even he disappeared soon after. I did not know how I would track Rajiv as even the cabs began to go off the streets. So I inveigled myself into his cavalcade – they put me in the second or third last car, as far as I recall. Which simply meant that Rajiv was already on the dais and into his speech as my car came to a halt at each venue. And by the time I sprinted to the maidan where he was holding his meeting he was already winding down and racing towards the next corner meeting.

It was 2 am, I recall, and I told the driver of my car to break the line and race towards Kurla where Rajiv was supposed to hold his next meeting. “I want to be near the dais before Rajiv arrives and this is the only way we can do it.”

Rajiv should have been there within five minutes but a half hour had passed and still there was no sign of the long entourage. Now I was in real panic, sure that either someone had taken a potshot at him or that the racing cars might have been in an accident. In desperation, I started walking the highway in the direction of his previous meeting when the driver shouted out to me that he had seen a series of car lights coming from the opposite direction. Within seconds they were in sight and Rajiv’s car swished past me (he had decided to break the schedule and go to his next meeting first).

Why the Nehru-Gandhis are exceptional compared to most of our other political leaders came home to me after what followed next. Rajiv had seen me standing at the edge of the road and looked back to mouth a ‘Oh, my God!’ at me. He jumped out of his car and, instead of heading towards the meeting, made straight for me. “What are you doing in the middle of the road at this hour of the night?” he asked.

“Waiting for you,” I replied. “I am an agency reporter and I have to stay with you all through the campaign. I can’t go home.”

He smiled and gave me a piercing look. “Have you had something to eat, though?” he asked. I shook my head.

He then turned to then Bombay Congress president Murli Deora and said, “Make sure she gets something to eat. A sandwich, perhaps. Or she will collapse by the time I am done.” Then he turned and headed towards his meeting.

Deora, now, was in a tizzy. “Where will I get something for you to eat at this hour of the night? Why have you put me in this situation?” he asked in agitation.

“What situation? Its okay. I am not hungry.”

“No, its not ok!” Deora snapped. “Rajiv will check again if you have eaten. What will I tell him?”

He looked at his car and then brightened. “Nariyal paani peeyegi? I have some coconuts in my car. Malai waale. May be that will do.”

Then as I took hold of a coconut that his driver handed out to me, Deora added, “Lekin Rajiv ne poocha to kehna ki maine tujhe sandwich khilaya (If Rajiv asks tell him I gave you a sandwich). Otherwise he will kill me!”

I thought Deora was rather over-reacting but, right on cue, the former PM came across to me to ask, “Did he put some food in your stomach?” As Deora looked on with hugely anxious eyes, I simply nodded – there was no need to lie nor tell him the truth.

I came up against another instance of Rajiv’s chivalry the same night. At his Tardeo meeting, I remember getting caught up in the crowds and afraid that I would not make it to my car on time. So I began to loudly plead with the people to make way. “I am a reporter. I need to get ahead of you. Please let me proceed.”

No one would listen. But then suddenly Rajiv Gandhi, who was a few yards ahead, did an about turn. Automatically a pathway opened up between him and those behind. He spotted me and said, “Come.” As I raced ahead, he said, “Stay close and always walk a step ahead of me. Otherwise you will be crushed by the crowds at the back and get left behind.”

“What happened to you?” I asked. He had a torn kurta sleeve and a scratch on his arm. He just smiled and said nothing. “No, really, how did that happen?” I persisted. “It’s nothing,” he said. “It just tore as people tried to get close.” I thought he sounded rather happy about that.

The rest of that campaign went off in a less eventful fashion for me. But that was my best election campaign reportage ever. Nothing in later years – not even Sonia Gandhi’s road shows — ever came even close to the sheer throbbing life and colour of that night-long campaign by Rajiv Gandhi.

As I had remained the only reporter on his campaign trail till the end, I could not stop boasting to my colleagues about how the former Prime Minister had looked out for a rookie, nameless and rather faceless reporter who could bring him no returns other than a straightforward reporting of his night-long campaign in Bombay.

Thirteen days later, he was assassinated in Sriperumbudur. One colleague then asked me, “What would you have done if this had happened in Bombay? You were keeping so close to him. Wouldn’t you have died, too?”

The thought had never even occurred to me. But then Maharashtra was headed at the time by Sharad Pawar. A day after Rajiv’s assassination Pawar said, “This is what I was afraid of. That is why I had plainclothes men planted all round him when he came to Bombay and I told them I would fry them if even one shot was fired at Rajiv Gandhi. All that I wanted was for him to exit Maharashtra without a scratch on him.”

Well, he did get some scratches. But none of the kind that would take his life. That lack of vigilance was left to Tamil Nadu and its then government. And those guys, today, are partners in the UPA government.

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  • Vikram

    I was in school and was tryign to catch a out of town bus when I read the assasination news in the papers. I cried and I am not usually emotional but somewhere I knew this guy meant a lot to all of us to our country and we couldnt protect him. I am sure DMK was somehow involved in all this. The crazy guy in the black goggles should be brought to justice. We should protect Rahul with everything we got.

    [Reply]

    Murty Reply:

    Excellent article Sujata. Just went down the memory lane and thought of that fateful day when I was in Delhi myself. Rajiv was a charming leader who really brought India on the world stage. He is definitely missed by me and many Indians I suppose.

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    Anil Reply:

    First of all I would disagree about assessment that only nehru ganhdi family indulge in this kind of chivalry with journalists.. since have rad suimialr pieces by one or another author on more or less every big time leader….

    but thanks for not bloggin one of those drab hosannas which one usually gets to see at the eve of death anniversary..

    this was nice piece

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    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    @murty@Sanjay@Anil: Thank you

    Karma Reply:

    Ms. Reporter, how professional of you to fall for a politician’s charm and boast about it. Did you quit being a journalist and join the charming man’s party after discovering “why the Nehru-Gandhis are exceptional compared to most of our other political leaders…”?

    PS: He was “Mr. Gandhi,” not your buddy “Rajiv.”

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    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    How do you any of all that?

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Its my business whose charm I fall for, don’t you think?

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    I always wonder: what would this country not have been if rajv gandhi had been alive. Just five years and he brought us a communication revolution.

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  • Siddharth

    What an Article Sujata ! Absolutely loved reading it !

    Although I have always voted for the BJP, the former PM Rajiv Gandhi is the only Congressman that I truly respect. Once again, Great job Sujata !

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    nitin Reply:

    True

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    Ravi Reply:

    Rajiv Gandhi was the biggest loss this nation ever had. He was a visionary and loved this nation, its people. He understood them. The present Gandhis, vindictive, arrogant & hateful don’t anywhere come near him. Their anti-national actions speak louder than words. Rajiv must be watching from up above with tears in his eyes, how his own are allowing so many inncoents to die at the hands of terrorists, naxals, for their vote bank & hunger to stay in power.

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    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Thanks

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  • Kharag

    He has to die by violent death because of 1984 carnage.

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  • http://www.aniin.com Prem Prakash

    This article brings back equally sad memory. The day before Rajiv Gandhi left Delhi for his South India tour, he met several media persons at tea at his residence. ANI had a correspondent and cameraman accompanying or covering him all the time on his election campaign. He thanked me for the hard work they were putting in. Next morning I was at the Udyog Bhavan voting centre where Rajiv came to caste his vote before the start of his journey to South. Noticing me in the crowd of Media persons there, he walked upto me to enquire as to who was going to South India to cover his tour. I mentioned to him that the crew would join him in Kerala whereas in TamilNadu we would cover locally which meant just Chennai. I could NOT believe my ears when at night as I as woken up to hear that Rajiv Gandhi had been assasinated.

    It has left a long lingering pain inside me. They killed a man who could decidedly have been the greatest of the Indian Prime Ministers. But for his conviction that he would see India into 21st century on knowldge based industries, India and her bright young people would not be where they today. We all owe India’s current strength only to him.

    Prem Prakasah MBE

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    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Agree with you entirely

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  • sanjay

    Well written Sujata.
    He was the only PM at that time who was not a NETA, he was a good human being.
    And now after long time we have another PM who is not a NETA but a good human being

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    Ravi Reply:

    Pl. don’t compare good old Rajiv with mammohan singh. MMS is just another VP Singh, soft spoken, financially honest but morally corrupt.
    The no. of innocent Indians who have died in the last 6 years under so many terror, naxal attacks, mothers losing their school,college going children, women getting widowed at young age, Rajiv would not have allowed that to happen. MMS systematically dismantled our security infrastructure for his madam’s vote bank. Pakistanis killing Indians at will & still roaming freely there. MMS sending mangoes to his counterpart. Rajiv wouldn’t have done that. caste-census being done. Last one was under british rule. I still remember Rajiv’s brilliant speech in Parliament against caste on Mandal commission.
    Not to forget the criminal politicians Lalu, Mulayam, who fought against Rajiv, are now supporting Congress.

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  • Raja Ganapathy

    Rajiv Gandhiji is dead, the tamil tigers war in Sri Lanka is over….all this tragedy for what outcome….hope Rahul Gandhi would stand up to all our over expectations which are immense in this country still struggling with so many basic human disaster’s….that is what I expect from Congress

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  • Jai

    There is no doubt that Rajiv Gandhi was more far sighted than most politicians of his age and that conspiracy of the myopic and deceitful feudalists led to his killing.

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  • Mahan

    I agree how he got mingled with mobs during that election campaign. He was surging into the crowds without minding any security threats. I was in Calcutta at that time. Rajiv came to desh bandhuI( I am not sure if thename of the park is correct) park on rash behari avenue for a meeting. I was in the second floor of my friend’s house on the opposite side of the road. I told my friend what is he doing why is going so close to the crowds without any other congress people or security around him. It is not safe for him. On the fateful day I just woke up from a nap and my father told me that rajiv gandhi is dead. So sad. He had many of his father’s qualities and humane.

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    Rajesh Reply:

    As a reporter you should do better research.The last paragraph of your blog is incorrect.By the time Rajiv’s assassination took place,the DMK Government in TN had been dismissed by the Chandrashekar Government at the Centre and the state was under President’s Rule.

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    Hemant Reply:

    Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi , which steered India’s destiny off track for a while and costed us growth of at least two decades ,if not more . Some of them involved in withdrawing security cover are already in hell , most short sighted people (I could not call them a politician at all)ever existed ,and look unfortunate nation given power to them , the scum on earth .Free of all emotions I think , Rajiv Gandhi , if survived over nation would have been at a higher status then what is it today.

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    Sharad Reply:

    Superb writing. What a story. Loved reading it. I envy people like you who write so well!

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    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Thank you

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  • Parag

    I like and respect Rajiv Gandhi.

    However the article is childish and idolising. He was a good decent man. Not necessarily a great leader. Wake up.

    And why can’t you say mumbai btw? I see that you can say chennai without breaking a sweat then what’s wrong with Mumbai.

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    Reshmi Reply:

    Hi,

    Very nicely written article. Somehow, you have put a human face to our leaders and the grinding process of the Indian general elections. It is sad that India lost such a charismatic leader so soon.

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    gurgaonboy Reply:

    Rajiv was an edcuated and civilised person. He changed the face of India financially. I saw one of his interview where he said “Porgress is the key to unification and no one can ignore it”.

    Employment and progress is key to our behaviour. We all behave nicely and treat other respectfully when everybody is busy from 7 AM till 10 PM rushing around for job,food and life.

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    Alok Reply:

    Dear Parag,

    What are you.. a problem seeker. I am sure you can find a hundred faults in any story you read.. The matter is do you want to. And regarding Mumbai, how does it matter whether you call it Mumbai or Bombay. It is still the same city. If you really want it to go to its roots, then believe in everything original.. Give up those jeans and T Shirts that you wear so comfortably and start wearing dhotis and kurtas going forward..

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    Ranjit Rai Reply:

    I am impressed with your story as that was the true Rajiv the fine human being but medicore pilot after a medocre stint at studies in Doon Scholl he did not complete, as he did not succeed at Cambridge or Imperial College. Good men alone do not make good leaders…you need more..

    . As a naval officer we met him at a colleague’s house on SP Marg service officer’s flats after one of his flights as he knew the officer’s sister married abroad and dropped in enroute PM residence.

    Rajiv twas a gullible G’man. We naval guys had carried imported Ham, Kraft cheese and sausages and were drinking rum when he joined as and said ” You Navy guys are lucky …you get imported stuff “and joined us in Rum and eats and was polite, unassuming handsome and deightful in coversation.

    When he left we wondered how simple he was. PM’s house could get any thing it wanted. We learnt he lived in PM’s house and did not know how to run a home, its kitchen, pay bills and deal with India’s corrupt MCDs and IT etc but suddenly he was given the opportunity to run this country. For a while with friends like brilliant Arun Singh and clever blokes like Arun Nehru etc he did well but when he shed them to fall for Bofors despite Arun’s advice , took Indian Army to Sri Lanka etc Rajiv he stumbled

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    Amer Reply:

    Just shut up…
    people like you would break the country into pieces.
    How many articles do you think you wrote like such ? Whats wrong if someone said Bombay ?
    I am respected more here if i refer to the city as Bombay, which sounds more urban and cosmopolitan, which the city is, rather the Mumbai which sounds more like a typical marathi rural touch.
    wake up !
    try to walk with the time. Do not hold yourself and get stuck with non-existent issues.

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  • Jijo

    I was 11 when Rajiv Gandhi died. Even at that age, I was so marveled by Rajiv and his death left me in grief for the remainder of my summer holidays. Ever since, none of the Indian politicians have impressed me. You have engraved your words so wonderfully and I’m going to remember this story forever.
    Fantastic piece of tribute to the great leader. I’m sure Sonia Gandhi would like to meet you over a cup of chai!

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    Madhura Reply:

    I was in Delhi and remember every second of those ghastly three days. I will carry that scar for the rest of my life, so will other few millions. Yes, people who removed the security cover and the Tamil leaders should have been punished. As far as I remember, it was Jayalalitha who was in power and not Karunanidhi. I could be wrong.

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    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    I don’t think she has the time to read any of the blogs

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  • Neil

    Great story. Beautifully told.

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    Radhakrishna Reply:

    This is a moving piece indeed! I need not be Rajiv’s political fan to salute his great soul after reading this piece. I hope this serves as an example to present day politicians.

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    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Thanks, Neil

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  • Rajiv

    Excellent account.
    Rajiv Gandhi’s assasination is one of the ugliest and most brutal event in our democratic history, surpassing even the assasination of Indira Gandhi.

    Those who had with drawn his security cover, should have been judicially punished.
    It pains me to even recall that event.

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  • Mani

    VP Singh is a ******* for having played politics with Rajiv’s life. I hope he rots in hell.

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  • Ratnanjali

    Very touching article. I always liked him.
    His assasination really was a shame to our security measures.
    Country governed by educated young and un-biased people like Rajiv Gandi would had really helped our country.
    In few words we should learn from mistakes and let them never ever happen again.

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    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    @Reshmi@Rajiv@Ratnanjali Thanks. Agree with all of what you’ve said

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  • Pragmatic Progressive

    Hello Sujatha,

    Another biased account by a journalist who did not know what was happening during that time
    politically and I hope you are not a journalist anymore and I do not know how many of you are
    working for this useless congress news network Hindustan Times.

    Fact Number 1: Rajiv Gandhi supported the minority ChandraSekhar government just to get rid of
    VP Singh as the Prime Minister.

    Fact Number 2: Rajiv Gandhi pulled his support for the ChandrsSekhar government which resulted in an unnecessary mid term election just like his Mom did for the Charan Singh government.

    Fact Number 3: Rajiv Gandhi’s congress would not have won the elections but for his assassination in between the elections. All the election returns before his assassination resulted
    in a congress losing multiple seats in multiple states. Even then, they did not have the majority and they came to power using their money power largely due to Narasimha Rao.

    Fact Number 4: No one asked him to go near the crowd knowing fully well that there are threats
    out there. Winning at all costs is not a good option.

    While it is sad that he has been assassinated, you should also think of hundreds of Sikhs who where murdered after the Indira Gandhi assassination. They are still waiting for justice and who was the Prime Minister just after that. You go and figure that out lady.

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    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Am still a journalist and am proud to be working for the Hindustan Times. like, I am sure, all my colleagues and fellow bloggers are!

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  • Enlightened India

    When Britishers ruled India, they booted out almost all mass exploiters. When politically insane Nehru came into the power as part of Britisher’s colonial headache removal policy, Nehru revived all the exploiters, mainly Brahmins and erstwhile Rajas, to counter his incompetency. Eventually backward caste felt ignored and after decades we see the explicit effect in the form of Laloos, Mulayams, Mayawati, Nitish, Karunanidhi, etc. Indira was a crazy woman causing emergency Sikh, North-East problem. Even Bangaladesh liberation was one of her craziest decision, considering US opposition, though favourable for the country. Finally she paid the price of her craziness and became a lame martyr. Rajiv was equally childish, otherwise who would have sent Indian army to Sri-Lanka to kill Tamils when Tamil Tigers were backed up by Indian and global Tamils. He too paid the price of his naivety and became another lame martyr. Now India is a failed state and responsibles are all empowered people of India, with major contribution from Nehru family. The presence of stupidity I see in Nehru family Sometimes I wonder this might be a genetic problem.

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    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Enlightened?

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  • http://tradersutra.com h mani

    WHAT I’M GOING TO SAY ,WILL BE HARD TO COMPERHAND,BUT ONE HAS TO PERSONALLY EXPERIENCE THIS TO TRUELY UNDERSTAND THIS. I SHALL TRY.BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE(happens everyday,everywhere),bad people go unpunished,and in fact are rewarded.GREEKS WERE FIRST TO PONDER ON THIS,BUT THEY HAD ANSWER TO THIS RIDDLE.THEY BELIEVED,AND I HAVE COME TO BELIEVE IN SOME WAY,THE VALIDITY OF THIS,THAT WE HAVE COLLECTIVE GOOD OR BAD KARMA,AS A NATION,SOCIETY AND AS A INDIVIDUAL AND SOME HOW WE PAY IT SOONER OR LATER.DOES IT MAKE SENSE?JUST SOMETHING TO PONDER.

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    Rajiv Reply:

    Oh yes, I certainly beleive that Karma, not just applies to an individual but also collectively to a family, society, nation. They are like layers of a onion.

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    Mukul saini Reply:

    This nation is full of CROOKEDS,NACKEDs,PERVERTEDs,how can the centre remove security cover,,,,,, from an ex PM,when the media could smell this, sense this the people ,the then INDIAN PM
    should be responsible for this killing, in developed countries like USA,the killer /plotter/facilitator
    of crime is Unearthed,the act to withdraw RAJIVs security,and the FACILITATION of this mans
    VULNERABILITY,and the people who slipped away from being PUNISHED,its weakness of our
    system,,,,,may us indians develop a system where INDIAN PMO dont facilitate such another
    killing……..hope SENSE COMES TO US INDIANS…..

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    PK Reply:

    A POIGNANT WRITE UP. THE ONLY THING I WANT TO SAY IS THAT WE MUST AWARD THE COUNTRY’S HIGHEST HONOR TO THE PRESIDENT OF SRI LANKA, WHO CREATED A PEACEFUL NATION NEXT DOOR. IT IS NO ORDINARY ACHIEVEMENT. THE BRIT PRESS AND GOVT., THE UN AND BANKI MOON, NORWAY, FRANCE, AND EVEN US, I THINK ALL WERE AFTER THE PRESIDENT OF SRI LANKA, AND MOST OF ALL THE DASTARDLY HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION. ALL TRIED THEIR BEST TO DISCREDIT, DEMEAN, AND DEFAME THE GOVT. OF SRI LANKA. RAJIV GANDHI WAS ASSASSINATED FOR HELPING SRI LANKA. HIS SOUL MUST REST IN PEACE THAT HIS DEATH EVOKED THE COURAGE AND DECISIVENESS AMONG SRI LANKANS TO PUT TO REST THE VIOLENT LTTE’S DEMAGOGUES.

    PK Reply:

    YOU ARE RIGHT. IT IS SAID THAT ON 9/11 VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHANEY WAS IN HIS OFFICE AT THE PENTAGON. THE SECURITY MEN ARRIVED AND ASKED HIM TO LEAVE WITH THEM. MR. CHENEY STARTED ASKING QUESTIONS, REASONS. THE SECURITY DETAIL JUST PHYSICALLY LIFTED HIM OUT OF HIS CHAIR AND HAULED HIM OUT. THIS IS THE SENSE OF DUTY. IT IS SAID THAT MAHATMA GANDHI INSISTED ON GOING TO HIS PRAYER MEETINGS, AND UNPROTECTED, AND THE SECURITY HAD INKLINGS OF PLOT TO KILL HIM, (wasn’t there a bomb explosion in one of his prayer meetings?) THAT VALLABH BHAI PATEL ASKED AND OTHERS TOO NOT TO GO OUT. GANDHIJI’S INSISTENCE ANNOYED VALLABH BHAI AND HE LEFT DELHI THE SAME DAY OR A DAY BEFORE SAYING THAT HE WOULD NOT BE AROUND TO BE HELD RESPONSIBLE IF SOMETHING HAPPENED. THERE WERE NO SECURITY MEN IN FRONT OF BAPU, NOR CLOSE ENOUGH TO KNOCK THE PISTOL OUT OF GODSE’S HANDS. IF ATTENBOROUGH’S DEPICTION OF GANDHIJI’S MURDER IN THE MOVIE GANDHI WAS CLOSE ENOUGH TO HOW IT HAPPENED THAT FATEFUL DAY, THEN INDIA’S SECURITY ESTABLISHMENT SHOULD HAND ITS HEAD IN SHAME. (we have tendency to blame the victim). BAPU COULD HAVE BEEN FORCIBLY HELD BACK UNTIL THE WHOLE AREA AND SURROUNDINGS WERE SCANNED, AND CLEARED BY SECURITY. NO . WE BLAMED GANDHIJI. A MAN WHO IS LITERALLY WORSHIPED IN THE WEST, OPERA’S ARE WRITTEN AND STAGED IN EUROPE AND USA. THE SAME WAY RUMORS ARE THAT INDIRA GANDHI WANTED AND ASKED ABOUT THE SAME SECURITY GUARD, THAT MAN HAS JUST GOT BACK FROM THE TROUBLED REGION AND HE WAS NOT DEBRIEFED ? THE SECURITY GETAIL WAS NOT CHANGED FOR ALL THE VIOLENCE IN NEAR PAST? AND AFTER HE FIRST SHOT AT HER ANOTHER HAD THE TIME TO EMPTY HIS GUN? AND SHE WAS TAKEN IN AN AMBASSADOR CAR? THE AMBULANCE DRIVER WAS ON A BREAK ? JUST ANOTHER ORDINARY DAY AT THE COFFEE CLUB? I DO NOT BELIEVE A WORD OF IT. WERE THERE NO HELICOPTERS FOR EMERGENCY USE ? IF SO WHY NOT. DO THE SECURITY PEOPLE DESIGN THEIR PLAN TO PROTECT BY ORDERS FROM THE ONE WHO THEY ARE PROTECTING? NO. THEREFORE THEY CAN NOT BLAME ANYONE ELSE. AFTER ALL THE VIOLENT EVENTS? THE PRIME MINISTER OF A COUNTRY, A COUNTRY AS DIVERSE AND COMPLEX AS INDIA, IS LEFT TO FEND FOR HERSELF ? THE LEADERSHIP OF A COUNTRY IS A NATIONAL TREASURE AND MUST BE GUARDED AS SUCH. AFTER GANDHIJI, INDIRA GANDHI, RAJIV GANDHI IS THERE LESS VIOLENCE IN THE COUNTRY? A NATIONAL LEADER IS GOING TO BE CRITICIZED AND MUST BE CRITICIZED BUT THE INNER SANCTUM HAS NO REASON TO BE LAX, ANGRY AND NEGLIGENT IN THEIR DUTY. EVERYONE OF US HAS A DUTY THAT WE MUST FULFILL AND NOT NEGLECT BECAUSE WE DISAGREE WITH THE POLICY. IN BOTH CASES THERE WAS BACKGROUND TO SUSPECT VIOLENCE AGAINST THEM. THE VIOLENT EVENTS AFTER PARTITION BEFORE GANDHIJI’S MURDER AND OPERATION BLUE STAR. BEFORE INDIRA GANDHI’S. I WILL NOT NAME NAMES BUT SOME SHOULD PAY THE PRICE FOR DERELICTION OF DUTY.

  • Djay

    Very well written :) I cried when I heard the news….that he was no more! Every Gandhi in India has a special personal space among us….You may reject it…call it dynastic **** etc but everytime a Gandhi is assasinated it felt one of the own family is gone. I do not know if i share the same sentiment for any other politician…except Atalji :)

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    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Atal behari, I always beleived, was the right man in the wrong party!

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  • Vinay Jamwal

    Very well written article. Some great piece of reporting!!!!! I am not a a congress fan but I always liked Rajiv for making India the IT power that it is today!!!
    Thanks for sharing your experience though.

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  • Gopal

    Good man Rajiv Gandhi!

    And this blog just proves that point a bit more.

    He deserves to be remembered fondly and I am glad that is happening. He may be dead. But his dream and spirit lives on.

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  • Ashok

    This nation owes its everything to Nehru Gandhi Parivar for ONLY they have sacrificed their lives for this country.

    From Ambedkar, Tilak, Subhash n the lot, including Gandhi were nothing and who sacrificed nothing as compared to Nehru-Gandhi Parivar.

    This country is indebted to local or imported Gandhis and they deserve to be made kings of India for the next 5000 years.

    This nation is great ONLY because we were lucky to have Nehru Gandhi parivar to rule us.

    Rahul, Priyanka and then their children are waiting to be crowned kings n queens of India. Meanwhile, they can live like aam-aadmis in palatial houses as their hearts beat for m,era mahan Bharat/India.

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    SR Reply:

    Angling for a congress ticket, eh? Sacrifice of the parivar – are you naive or cunning?

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    Rajeev Reply:

    Get the Sarcasm…

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  • Manu

    Hi Sujata

    Thanks to bring all these facts to the readers.
    Good writing, excellent choice of words. Very good job Sujata.

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  • Asmath Hussain

    I had been awarded by Rajiv Ghandi in the National Youth Festival in Delhi and i had seen him very closely such a wonderful and kind hearted person. He gave us 15 minutes time and we shook his hands so soft. it was a real wild tragedy and i am from Tamil nadu and feel really pity that it happened in our state.

    The LTTE should be fully banned and who ever supports them should be severely punished.

    [Reply]

  • Praveen Saxena

    I am touched by the Late Rajiv Gandhi’s chivalry and his concern for the Lady Reporter. But I also recall that he was the only PM who came riding on the sympathy wave , after the death of his mother Late Indira Gandhi , with an unprecedented strength of more than 400 MPs,. However sadly this mandate was fritterred away with such ignonimous political events like Shah Bano, Bofors, Nani yaad dila doonga,…….

    [Reply]

    Rakesh Kuwait Reply:

    Excellant Article: Yes Its true , he was a great leader, Who has given us line to be Modern, He is the “Father of Telecommunication and IT revolution in India”.

    [Reply]

    Sunil Tyagi Reply:

    What a story.

    So good to see an insight into chivalry, a genuine humanity within folks of such stature.

    You ought to publish a book of such anecdotes – whether positive or negative – truly reveals personalities like one can never imagine.

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Lots of firends have suggested that. Thinking about it

    [Reply]

    Rajeev Reply:

    Rajiv Gandhi died doing the thing he loved most..fooling the people. What was need to embrace dhanu? Just for a vote..She voted Rajiv gandhi out of this word with a bang.

  • Gunjan

    The last two lines have the kick of the article. We written, well narrated and talks about a man with complete chivalry, leaving behind the tag of being a Congress or BJP man.

    [Reply]

  • SG

    That was really touching! Again the finger pointing at the most active partner of the UPA? Will truth ever come out of the government which swears: ’satyam eva jayate!’ Rajiv was such a charming PM, the likes of whom are very hard to come by. Maybe Rahul is inching towards filling that void but he frequently locks horns with the likes of the lady who, as her name goes, is a great illusion!

    What Rahul could do to perpetuate the memory of his father is to create a Rjiv Gandhi School of Leaders of India with a 10 year curriculum after one finishes school and have the future leaders taught the history of India, economics, law, a couple of languages, both Indian and foreign, physical fitness and above all polity and governance as per accepted norms. They should fill up 50% of the total seats in all elected bodies in India, thereby paving the way for an engineered governance in India in atleast 10-15 years’ time.

    [Reply]

    Atul8 Reply:

    As a child, I have flown with him when he used to pilot the delhi nagpur sector.

    During one such flight I remember, my mother’s handbaggage opened up, and the contents scattered on the tarmac (we used to walk to the planes in those days). So while she was collecting her things, Rajiv Gandhi saw this, and quickly rushed to help, and despite my mother’s protests, picked up the handbag, took my hand and escorted us to our seats in the plane.

    Whatever his detractors may say, but as a human being and a Gentleman, he had few equals.

    [Reply]

  • shashank

    what an article sujata.. simply AWESOME..it bring tears in my eyes as i just took myself into the situation and the plight of india when rajiv was assisinated

    [Reply]

  • rashmi devassy

    20 yrs ago, I was sitting up late at night studying as it was my MBBS 1 examinations. I still remember the loudspeakers on jeeps suddenly coming on wailing about the terrible news just after 1 am. I was devastated. it still brings on goose pimples every year on the 20th of may. I agree with you, he was a true gentleman and lucky are thsoe who had the occasion to even brush arms with him. I envy you.

    [Reply]

  • sushma

    Late Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi i remember every minute of that what i was doing and where i was no one can ever replace them that was the worst thing ever happened to them. There was a trust but it was betrayed by some nasty people hope their whole family suffers for what they have done not only for the good family but for the whole entire nation.

    [Reply]

    ANONYM Reply:

    I am an extreme DMK-hater. The attitude of Auto-drivers, cab-walas, local businessmen towards north-indians must be felt to be believed during the DMK-regime.

    When madam remains in power, things are much better, but this hooligans are too much.

    They do not have a shame that they killed our ex-PM, may be the MAHARASHTRIANS and SURDS also fall in the same category ??

    [Reply]

  • Dr, Ambekar

    Dear Editor.
    Nice views expressed in the article. Besides that I would like to compare the world democracies and their leaders.

    Winston Churchill, Margeret Thatcher, John F Kennedy, Chancellor Kohl, and many more leaders in the west who had made their names in the history, did not continue the family traditions to take on the power WHY?

    Was it that their next generations were not prudent enough or the people were wise enough not to promote “Family Raj”.

    Dr. Ambekar.

    [Reply]

  • dr arvind jain

    Really the courageous reporting you did for the news paper and you did your duty honestly a praiseworthy task narrated beautifully.In true sense he was a very sensible P.M. of India.

    [Reply]

  • sadhu vedant muni

    Rajeev Gandhi was a dashing personality of India.Great duty you have done was remembered and remarkable.

    [Reply]

  • Amitabh Varma

    A fascinating account – I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I have read similar experiences about some other politicians, but most of them are dead now.

    [Reply]

  • Vijay Menon

    A warm and human portrait of a humane political leader. Very readable. Very touching.

    [Reply]

  • Rajiv

    V P Singh I think was the most venal and crooked politician India has ever produced.
    Its the central govt at that time , maybe led by chandrashekhar, a lowlife character, who removed security cover from Rajiv, when it was Rajiv Gandhi who needed security more than all other politicians combined.

    [Reply]

  • rajooq

    i fully agree that v.p.singh .jealous,venomus and with all the bad qualities of a devil.the cacus karunanidhi,ntr, and all those political parties are responsible for rajeevs assasination atleast as a common man thought those days

    [Reply]

  • http://tradersutra.com h mani

    VERY FEW GET THE ESSENCE OF A TRAGEDY,YOU GUYS GET EMOTIONAL AND START REWRITING HISTORY,WITH YOUR OWN 1/2 FACTS,1/2 FICTION,AND VERY LITTLE OF ANY SEMLENCE OF FACTS AND TRUTH.I’M AMAZED THAT SOME OF YOU ARE WELL SCHOOLED ,SO IT IS NOT GOOD EDUCATION MISSING,IT JUST THE WAY YOU ARE PROGRAMMED TO THINK.IT IS TRUE THE NEHRU FAMILY PAID HEAVY PRICE FOR ALL THEIR SUCESSES,BUT NO ONE PUT A GUN TO THEIR HEADS TO FORCE A DYNASTIC RULE ON YOU GUYS,DID THEY??IT COMES WITH THE TERRITORY,4 OF U.S. PRESIDENTS HAVE BEEN ASSASSINATED IN PAST,WE HAVE LEARNED THE HARD WAY,THERE ARE TOO MANY LUNNIES AND UNSTABLE PEOPLE RUNNING AROUND.PRESIDENT OBAMA GETS OVER 400 DEATH TREAT A DAY,MOST SERIOUS TREATS ARE CHECKED OUT,AND BY LAW HE HAS NO CONTROL OVER SECRET SERVICE.NOW DO YOU THINK IN YOUR WILDEST DREAM YOU HAVE A SECRET SERVICE WHICH IS AUTONOMOUS,??NOT A CHANCE,FOR ARGUMENT SAKE,NEHRU,AND BOTH MAHATMA BRUSHED ASIDE THEIR GUARDS,AND EVEN TODAY MR RAUL DOES WHAT HE FEELS LIKE,IF SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS TO HIM,HE HAS NO ONE TO BLAME BUT HIMSELF,FOR INHERENTLY MOST INDIANS ARE LAW INTO THEMSELVES,PL DO NOT SAY OTHERWISE,I LIVED MY FIRST 24 YEARS THERE AND I’M WELL WORSED ABOUT NOT ONLY YOUR COUNTRY ASSASSINATION,BUT MOST OTHERS TOO.JFK WAS KILLED INSPITE OF THE BEST SECURITY AT THAT TIME AVAILABLE,SINCE THEN WE HAVE IMMPROVED IT A LOT,BUT OUR PRESIDENT DOES NOT OVER RULE HIS SECURITY DETAILS.IT IS UNLAWFUL,AS SIMPLE AS THAT.INDIANS DO NOT HAVE A HONEST HISTORY TO TALK ABOUT,IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE JUST GO ABROAD AND READ INDEPENDENT SOURCE OF HISTORY IN OTHER NATIONS ARCAIVES,YOU WILL BE PLEASANTLY SURPRISED.IT WILL KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF LITERALLY.IN INDIA YOU ARE CONDEMMED TO FALSEHOOD,IN FACT INDIA NEVER FELT RIGHT ACCOUNTING OF HISTORT WAS IMMPORTANT.SEE HOW WEST WRITRS AND GUARDS ITS PAST,EVEN THE MUGHALS AND ARABS WERE FAR BETTER THAN INDIANS.IT IS IS AS HONEST AS I CAN GET,I DO NOT MEAN TO BE MEAN TO YOU GUYS,BUT A LITTLE LESS EMOTIONAL,AND CARING FOR HONEST ACCOUNTING WILL GO LONG WAY IN IN CORRECTING THE MISTAKES OF PAST.YOU HAVE LOST ALL PAPERS OF 1971 WAR,NO AUTHANTIC MINUTE OF PARTITION WITH NEHRU AND MR JINNAH HAS BEEN EVER RELEASED FOR SCHOLORS TO ASSESS THEM CORRECTLY,I HAVE READ IN BRITISH LIBARY.,BUT THEN I WAS TIRED OF BU–S–T AND WANTED TO KNOW FOR MYSELF,NOW I’M READING ABOUT CIVIL WAR,THE WARTS AND AND ALL UGLINESS.WAR AND HISTORY ARE NOT PRETY,IT IS NOT BEAUTY CONTEST,IT IS BEARING FACTS AN ALL ITS GORINESS AND UGLINESS.DO NOT DELUDE YOURSELF INTO MAKING MR RAJIV GANDHI WHICH HE WASN’T.EVEN MR LINCOLN DOES NOT HOLD UP TO REAL TALES OF THE SCRUTINY OF HISTORIANS.ENOUGH SAID

    [Reply]

    Lekha James Reply:

    Mr. H Mani,

    The author of the blog just reminiscing about the human side of Rajiv Gandhi.

    Your thoughts are just out of place in this context. Your comments are not only rude but immensely arrogant. In India we have many historians who do interpret things with all objectivity. You may have heard of Dr. Ram Chandra Guha. Read his books to get come context before preaching about 1/2 fiction and facts.

    Also, please remember not to write in CAPS, it symbolises shouting.

    [Reply]

  • Kamala

    Hello,
    After reading the last 4/5 posts, I am starting to become a fan of your blog. Good work.. Look forward to reading more high quality articles in future.

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Hope to meet your expectations

    [Reply]

  • Fareed Sardar Khan

    SUJATA I got goose bum reading it…..I so wish he was still alive….He was a leader India may find hard to find again

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    So do I — wish he were alive

    [Reply]

  • K L A SUBRAMANIAN

    It provided an interesting reading. The closing paras are really very touching. Well, we lost an able Statesman at such an young age.

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Yes, he became a statesman in five short years which took his mother much longer to achieve

    [Reply]

  • http://- Rajeev

    “When Big Tree falls, earth Shakes”…These words by Rajiv Gandhi on massacre of Sikhs in 1984 are enough to show his real human side.

    This paid journalist is singing praises of Rajiv Gandhi because he treated HER nice. I guess even Hitler did such kind acts to Individual but that does not make him saint.

    Rajiv Gandhi was a criminal and nothing else.

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    I was not old enough to know Hitler. Perhaps you were/are. In any case Rajiv’s remarks, though highly misplaced were far more honest than L K Advani’s calling Jinnah secular!

    [Reply]

    Ravi Reply:

    then I don’t understand why Congress is being supported by leftover child of Jinnah, Indian Union Muslim League. hmmmm…
    oh VP Singh, that venal politician, because of whom we lost Rajiv, his party has merged with Sonia’s Congress. hmmmm….

    [Reply]

    Rajeev Reply:

    Ravi,
    The congress is new avatar of Muslim league. The congress of Mahatma Gandhi died with Gandhi.

    Rajeev Reply:

    Read your arguement again..Didn’t make any sense. Rajiv Gandhi remains criminals in the eyes of truly secular Indians.

    [Reply]

    Rajeev Reply:

    Sujata,
    Yeah, you are not old enough to know modern day Hitler Rajiv Gandhi.
    Ever thought of taking history lessons.

    You sold yourself to Rajiv Gandhi for a mere Sandwitch. That is the true worth of paid journalists like you.

    How do you explain Rajiv Gandhi’s arrogance when opposition resigned in mass from parliament and he let that happen? How do you explain Rajiv Gandhi Slapping CM of AP at the airport?

    I have seen you journalist up close..All you care for is free lunch and booze and congress is expert at providing these and if you don’t write for them, they can tap your phones and blackmail you.

    [Reply]

    s Reply:

    This is interesting sujata how far will you go to appreciate honesty!!! rajiv’s statemetn was in the aftermath of 10000 sikh people dyng, shouldnt appear light to any human being. neither to rajiv nor to you makes me wonder if u are indeed paid!

    [Reply]

  • http://- Rajeev

    He was a LOW IQ moron and supremely corrupt leader (Bofors). I hate VP Singh but I thank him for bringing down MORON Rajiv Gandhi. Had Rajiv Gandhi not died, we would be still having socialist system with hindu rate of growth i.e. 3%?

    There was truly one great PM that India ever had..and it was PV Narasimha Rao. May his soul RIP.

    [Reply]

    rajiv Reply:

    The BJP walas should shutup regarding allegations like Bofors which they could not prove. BJP was in power for many years, why did they not reveal the so called truth about Bofors ?? If you cannot substantiate your allegation, just shut up.

    [Reply]

    Rajeev Reply:

    Rajiv,
    Do you mean to say that a thief not caught red handed is not a thief? The way congress is trying to bury bofors and help Mr.Q clearly points towards Rajov Gandhi being corrupt.
    You congresswallahs have done scams after scams, you keep all instituitions (CBI included) paralysed and then you ask for proof.

    The congress party has ruled India over 50 years, 90% of Govt. employess, most of the media are loyal to congress due to long association. Do you think a short stint of BJP was enough to get Rajiv Gandhi convicted?

    Rajiv Gandhi was a supremely corrupt and cruel leader. There are thousand of elderly sikh women living alone in Delhi who have no one left courtesy Rajiv Gandhi.

    How can people like Sujata live with themselves? Shame on you communal congressis.

    [Reply]

  • rajiv

    Particularly the scumbag VP Singh. He would allege that he would expose the bofors involved in 3 days if he bacame PM. He became PM, had everything at his disposal. What happened ?
    I am not a Congress fan but outright lies should not be made.

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Rajiv once told me that whenever V P singh would wave a list that loked like numbers/figures against a name and say it was the Bofors pay-off details, he wouldactually be wavng his laundry list or grocery bill. How did Rajiv know? Well, the same guards who were protecting Singh had once protected Rajiv and still loved him more — they read the details off the list as VP held it aloft for the crowds and reported back to Rajiv!

    [Reply]

    Rajeev Reply:

    Ever thought that Rajiv Gandhi was making up stories on grocery bill.

    VP Singh risked his great career in congress to bring down Chor Rajiv Gandhi.

    The people of India hate VP Singh for Mandal not for bringing down Rajiv Gandhi. Don’t mix issues.

    [Reply]

    Rajeev Reply:

    VP Singh was a scumbag but that scumbag toppled bigger scumbag Rajiv Gandhi.
    I am sure Sikhs are graeteful to VP Singh for avengings deaths of 5000 sikhs at the hands of criminal congresswallahs.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.hindustantimes.com Sujata Anandan

    How do you know any of all that?

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    That comment was meant for Karma above

    [Reply]

  • Punitha

    Thats is great…Sujatha..Indeed Rajiv is a great man..deeply missed by all normal thiking countrymen

    [Reply]

  • Vidyottama

    Hi Sujata,

    Thought of posting my thoughts here instead of the few words twitter would permit me. Thoroughly enjoyed reading the piece despite the fact the you have told me about these incidents with relish and I have gobbled them up with much more happiness:) Oh yes, Rajiv Gandhi was a brilliant leader, never mind who says what. And he was so much needed at this time. I still remember the childlike expression on your face when you narrated these incidents. And that is what is the best quality of a good journo — a childlike innocence and curiosity about things/people/places/events.. he/she reports on. Kudos. Very well written. Happy to have read it.

    [Reply]

    Rajeev Reply:

    Did you get half eaten sadwitch from Sujata?

    [Reply]

    Vidyottama Reply:

    Whoever you are Rajeev, you need to visit a doctor. Pronto.

    [Reply]

    Rajeev Reply:

    With name like yours, I guess you are posting these comments from mental asylum.

    Your beggar kind sell your sould for half eaten sandwitch.

    Indian journalism is dead.

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Thanks, Vidya. Touched by your comments — tho’ surprised by that childlike expression you saw on my face. Thought I was a hardened cynic!

    [Reply]

    Rajeev Reply:

    It was not childlike expression but an expression of sold-out journalist.

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Oh, were you there when I and Vidyottama (which by the way is another name for Goddess Saraswati) were in private conversation?

    Rajeev Reply:

    Do you want to spill our secrets on this blog? ;)

    Rajeev Reply:

    I give two hoots about Vidyottama and your kinds.

    Vidyottama Reply:

    Sujata. :)

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Well, Vidya, I normally ignore the guy for his comments are always the lunatic kind with no rational points to argue it out but when he got personal with u, I felt responsible, since this is my blog

    Rajeev Reply:

    Vidyottama,
    This journalist is a boot licker of Gandhi dyansty and that is the reason she is mocked at.

    Anand Reply:

    Hi Sujata:

    I loved to read your blog and I dont agree to all the points Rajeev is alleging against you. However based just on your thoughts presented in this blog, it does look like, the most impressive thing about Rajiv for you was the care shown by him for you. As a journalist, this however should not take over your own opinion which I am afraid is the case. Go back and think on this point to be a responsible and assertive journalist. Well, only when that is what you aim for…

  • PADMA KUMAR

    very fortunate to be ruled by MMS and Sonia gandhi. I cannot fathom BJP ruling India for such long periods of time.with a hostile press and media. BJP is very communal , for what I am told by these journalists like the one who wrote this blog. We are told by these pygmies that if others had ruled India, India would have been more chaotic,with dead rivers, with minorities who are rabidly fanatical,with. human sea of population living in one big ghetto called india would have happened. Nehru’s clan have made this a reality and nobody can govern this piece of smelly land mass called India, not Bharat.

    [Reply]

    Nikhil Reply:

    Because everyone indulges in the root causes for anything and everything in our country, I discovered one after reading this article. We just got glimpse of the root cause of Sujata’s journalistic sychophancy for the Nehru-Gandhi clan.

    [Reply]

    Rajeev Reply:

    One half eaten sandwitch was enough to win loyalty of paid journalist like Sujata.

    This is the level of journalism in India.

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    My dear, it was not a sandwich, it was coconut water. Shows how moronic you are when you don’t even get what is clearly adn loudly stated

    Rajeev Reply:

    but you being dumb thought coconut water was sandwitch.

    I can offer you a foot long sub..will you lick my boots. :)

    Sameer Reply:

    padma kumar ..are you on congress payroll?this blog dwells on a human side with no political assumptions..neways bjp is the party you need for the future..if congress keeps on ruling the nation the time wont be long when your name would be pakkezaah kumar..

    [Reply]

  • http://- Rajeev

    I fondly remember slogan-

    ‘Gali Gali mein shor hai, Rajiv Gandhi chor hai’..

    Soon we will hear
    ‘Gali gali mein shor hai, rahul baba chor hai’.

    Afterall in the words of great parrot Abhishek Singhvi (Bigmouth of congress), son of LM Singhvi (closely associated with BJP), Rahul Gandhi is son of his father…father chor then son chor.

    [Reply]

  • D Rajesh

    Hi Sujata,

    I like reading your weekly articles in HT and blogs, but always wonder why, whatever the story or context be, they usually have a praiseworthy or positive comment about Sharad Pawar? To that extent your writings appear to have a bias and not very objective. He may be a good adminstrator but normal perception is – that he is very corrupt and opportunist. His involvement with all rich institutions like BCCI and sugar lobby are few indications.

    I always wonder what transpired between P V Narsimha Rao and Sharad Pawar behind the closed-door meeting, following which Pawar reluctantly agreed to support P V Narsimha Rao for PM’s post in 1991. As you are close to Sharad Pawar, we would love to have his side of story as P V Narsimha Rao is no longer alive to tell us his version. It would be a real scoop to know about the secret dossier on Pawar (if any) prepared during P V Narsimha Rao’s stint as Home Minister.

    [Reply]

    Rajeev Ranjan Reply:

    Why Godse Killed Gandhi???…

    I found your entry interesting thus I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)

  • Diwakar

    The comments here post the piece make for sickening reading. We, as a people, are today, the most cynical and cannot distinguish between a report that just narrates an incident where the rare human side of a politician has been touched upon and sold-out journalism that we now encounter on a regular basis.
    We surely deserve today’s so-called leaders.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.imrajeev.com/2009/03/godse%e2%80%99s-confession-in-court/ Rajeev Ranjan

    Godse’s confession in court…

    I found your entry interesting thus I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)

  • http://SUJATA'SBLOG sebastian

    Rajeev
    It is amusing to note your ranting about the half eaten sandwich – when all Murli offered Sujata was Nariyal pani !!!

    [Reply]

  • Arijit

    Sujata,
    Compliments on a well written post. It brought back memories of a time when journalists, burned the midnight oil and focussed on getting the facts, unlike our tv journalists today, who are mere opinionators.

    [Reply]

  • Aditya

    The level of objectivity in the so called unbiased critics of history is so low that it is laughable. I wonder if anyone of these people have ever been in a leadership position, where you have no guide-books and no maps to base your actions and decisions on. You have gut feel and intuition and judgement and you make the decisions and chose the paths based on that.

    The same decisions and choices, when looked at in hindsight are very easy to make. People need to realize that the Nehru/ Gandhi families were not the dictators of India – they were not ruling through martial law. They were duly elected by the people of this country. And when they tried to be dictatorial, they were thrown out of power too. They were in power because of a true dearth of real leaders who could stand up against them. And the others who came to power after them, did no better, either in governance or in economics. What happened in 90s was not because PVNR was just so uniquely gifted to chart the course – it happened because India was broke and there was no other alternative, than to reform. PVNR realized it and took the right path.

    Coming back to the dynastic/ family rule comments – if the commenters think that they are better than Rahul Gandhi, why dont they jump into politics and save the country from the dynastic rule? Of course, they do not want to do it – they just want to keep barking like pomerians at anyone and everyone they can find who does not agree with their views.

    And finally – to the point that Rajiv Gandhi instigated the attack on Sikhs – I was around at that time. And I remember the grief that the entire nation had experienced knowing that Indira Gandhi was assasainated. TV was not very widely adapted, so every house in the neighborhood that had a TV actually had 50/60 people sitting and watching silently her funeral. That being the extent of grief and shock, there were some sikhs that were distributing sweets – rejoicing that Indira Gandhi was killed.

    [Reply]

  • http://hindustantimes sonam

    People sometimes dont realize what they done can cost how much.A simple story described by you with rajiv gandhi made him a good man but what happens to the rest things.Didnt you enquire anything about his life ,the cases the allegations on him.I know at that time you were quite happy and it seems you enjoyed the company quite well but please tell me at that time were the political scenario was this bad as of today and you think that rahul gandhi or sonia gandhi will work as rajiv gandhi did…Coz as per you said that he was quite chivalrous guy instead of his big name will the same can we expect from rahul.Or its just a matter of time.Did gandhi family is THE family for India s political scenario.

    [Reply]

  • amit

    Rajiv Gandhi, who was popularly known as Chor post Bofors scandal will go in History for genocide of Sikhs and 4bs.These 4 bs are Bofors,Bhopal Gas leak,Begam Shah Bano and Babri Mazid.He like all other gandhi family members was rooted deep in corruption and communalism.He was sole responsible for changing law to turn Supreme court verdict regarding shah bano to gain Muslim votes rather upholding law of land and human rights.When he saw Hindus getting agitated against him he opened gates of babri mazid and sent Buta singh to organize PUJA in majid and thus giving new life to anti babri block.His move to send Indian commandos in shrilanka was miscalculated and proved disastrous for Indian commandos and himself.I don’t want to put wat his Mother and Grandfather Nehru did to this nation.IN summary this family is a disgrace to this nation and also sycophants who live to only lick there feet.With Rise of Rahul gandhi,thanks to unconditional support of Indian Media houses India will once again go in dark ages post non gandhi family PM years.

    [Reply]

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  • Hibiki_2010

    If you want hate crime laws in Oz then we Americans demand them in Silicon Valley – for all the racism Indians do to white Americans every day there.

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  • Himanshu Sharma

    wow it was your good luck that you met such a great personality. He was a great personality.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Harsh-Vikram/1109021514 Harsh Vikram

    Its a shame ure leaving HT sir. Loved ure writing, and ure honest,learned opinions on film. But i guess you’re too good for them.Please do continue this blog though..

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  • Ramesh Kumar

    SOME OF THESE EXPOSE HAVE SHIELDED THE GREATEST SCAM UNDER PM MMSINGH WITH HIS OWN SIGNATURE THE GREAT COAL SCAM.
    NOTHING WOULD HAVEBEEN MORE CONVENIENT TO CONGRESS THAN THIS.MEDIA ,NEWSPAPER HELPED .WHILE EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE SHOUTED AGAINST MMSINGH OR JINDAL ,CONGRESS BLESSED MEDIA FOUND A WAY OUT IN LESS SIGNIFICANT ISSUES.
    IN ANOTHER ISSUE ,WHILE REMEBERING BIGGEST HUMILIATION OF INDIA BY CHINESE,I HAVENOT SEEN A GOOD ANALYSIS FOR REASON S OF DEFEAT OR HOW POORLY WE ARE PREPARED EVEN TODAY FOR ANOTHER EVENTUALITY.
    CHINA IS PROCEEDING IN MANY WAYS.
    BUT WE HAVE A DISGUSTING PM ,WHO TALKS OF GDP ONLY.
    HE DOES NOT MIND IF HEIS NOT INVITED TO OPENING CEREMONY OF BEIJING OLYMPIC ,BUT SONIA IS.

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  • vittal

    Some of the politicians are like cockroaches who are to be extinguished if only this country can recover from the current hopeless situation.

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  • facebook

    What Indians need to do is to VOTE OUT corrupt politicians from any party they represent. It sure is a herculian task. The dissgust that exists amongst people of India against corrupt politicians HAS TO BE converted into votes against them in the next elections. It happened in Egypt and it can happen in India. The question is how to spread the message to the poorest of the poor and deep into
    the small villages. I hope the educated, technology-enabled urbanites use the mass media. ARVIND alone can not do it for YOU all unless he gets help otherwise the the Jagannath machinery available to the ruling party with unlimited funds will steamroll Arvind’s young sprout of an opposition party.
    PLEASE GET UP FROM YOUR SLUMBER AND HELP BUILD INDIA OF YOUR DREAMS.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnDayal John Dayal

    Great reporting, and an excellent blog

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  • sukumo

    The author knows how to tell a story.

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