June 25, 1975 — The Day Mrs G showed her true colors

Today is the anniversary of “The Emergency“. Mrs Indira Gandhi, daughter of Mr Jawaharlal Nehru, became India’s dictator, and Indians once again became political slaves — a mere 28 years after India’s political independence from Britain. It appears Indians don’t really mind slavery much.

Mrs Gandhi’s dictatorship lasted 21 months. The RSS fought against her rule and for which the slaves (read “seculars”) have never forgiven the RSS. Then in 1977, Mrs Gandhi lost the elections that she was sure that she would win. The slaves revolted. Alas, it was short-lived. Mrs Gandhi was back in the driving seat in Jan 1980, and the slaves were back in slavery. They elected her to rule them. Freedom does not sit well with some people. कुत्ते को घी नहीं पचता है

Mrs Gandhi’s rule ended in a bad way. She had made a Faustian bargain and she had to pay. It’s always messy. The Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty continued to rule India. Rajiv Gandhi ruled for a bit. Things happened. And then Rajiv met his messy end. It was now becoming clear that as a member of that dynasty, you rise to undeserved power, impoverish the country for some years, and then meet a nasty end. (Dynastic dictators meet nasty ends, as I always say.)

Rajiv Gandhi’s wife, Antonia Maino aka Sonia Gandhi, is the current dictator. She not only rules via proxy, she even speaks via proxy. Her son, Raul Vinci aka Rahul Gandhi, is a charming guy but is a few cans short of a six-pack. The lights are on but there’s no one at home. The top ranks of the Congress party do what they can to keep up the charade but I am not convinced that the slaves are ready for freedom.

Antonia Maino is alleged to have stashed away a few billion dollars in foreign banks. But if the past history of post-1947 dictators (which includes Nehru, I might add) is any indication of what lies ahead for her, I am afraid Maino’s exit is not going to be pretty. In the neighboring Islamic republics, the dictators end up either hanging or being killed in a coup d’état. In this (not quite but almost-Islamic) republic, it’s different but not too different.

In any event, Raul Vinci will become the prime minister. And then after his departure will be his sister. Then of course after her departure, her children.

The Dynasty will live on, and the slaves will continue their poor, nasty, brutish and short lives.

Related posts: Was Nehru a dictator? I think so. Part 1, Part 2. I despair. The Unbearably Sad Reality of India.

Author: Atanu Dey


17 thoughts on “June 25, 1975 — The Day Mrs G showed her true colors”

  1. May be to let the dynasty continue for vested interests, KGB, CIA and ISI combine will get rid of aging Antonia in a staged assassination to garner sympathy votes for prince charming Raul Vinci. Deal-making can go on without interruption.


  2. Hi Dr.Dey!

    There is timely comment from the author of The White Tiger Arvind who said in a interview to ToI that:

    Your novels are tense with the conflict between old and new India. As a child of Nehru’s India, are you suspicious of liberalisation and what all that money’s doing to us?

    “I wish I were a child of Nehru’s India! But I was born in 1974. I was a child of the harsher socialist regime imposed by Mrs Gandhi. I am not — and will never be — an opponent of the great economic boom initiated by Dr Manmohan Singh and Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. In fact, I think it saved India from ruin and stagnation. I remember we had to bribe people in Mangalore in the old days just to get a confirmed ticket on Indian Airlines.

    In 1990, I stood first in Karnataka in the annual SSLC (year 10) exams. When I came to Bangalore to collect an award from the education minister, I was humiliated by the rich boys there — all of whom I had beaten — because I had a thick accent when I spoke English and I did not know who Lionel Richie was.

    The divisions between small town and big city India have been broken down by liberalisation. I’m grateful for this…I do think people have a right to question how fast liberalisation is going and whether it’s damaging some sections of society. In the short term, India might lag China if we’re more introspective about our growth — but in the long term, we will surely outrun them. Those who interpret my novels as opposing liberalisation are misreading them. They’re marked by ambivalence, not opposition, to the changes… Money itself is amoral. It can liberate people as easily as it can destroy them. As I said, I’m not opposed to the great economic boom going on now. My role as a novelist is only to dramatize certain conflicts taking place because of the generation of so much new wealth. In “Last Man in Tower”, I urge people not to regard the developer simply as the villain, but to consider his positive attributes as well. Nor is Masterji, his opponent, a spokesman for me. He has his failings.”



  3. a great wake-up call for all Bharatiyas …
    we can no more afford to be ruled by these oppressors.
    time to act.
    Thank You Atanu for your insightful articles.


  4. I lived through the Emergency from the day I read the promulgation in the papers – that was the day we returned from a vacation in the East, back to the South – till the announcement of elections two years later and Indu’s fall. By the end of the Emergency I became a politically aware citizen. The emergency was wrong, dead wrong, but was it terrible? I don’t think so. It was wrong because it was a desperate gambit by Indu’s limo-lib-leftist flunkies to keep her in power, and hence themselves. But the opposition to Indu was largely to her left, leaving out radical advocates of liberty like Fernandes and Viren Shah, and of course the RSS. The opposition of the day definitely had a more wholesome vision of India, although imagination was still limited. But the Emergency also made life more comfortable for the middle class. Trains ran on time, phones worked, property transactions were trouble free – no black money, no bribes. Indu made a big mistake, had she dissolved the Parliament and called for fresh elections in 1975, she would have returned with a thumping majority. But now that scenario is best left in the domain of counterfactual history.
    Indu was a patriot, and 1971 was her finest hour, for all the right reasons.


  5. This dynastic rule will not perpetuate in India any longer. The new generation is more aware of the implications, especially women. People are becoming more literate and expectations from Government is quite high.
    From the dust of dynastic rule and greedy politicians,will emerge a brand new political party by 2015,headed by unselfish leaders, which will meet the aspirations of the people.


  6. Agree with your article quite entirely, except that Rahul Gandhi will not become the PM, but just like his mother, rule by proxy, which is of course a minor thing, practically speaking.


  7. BTW, I just came across this line from this [ http://www.deeshaa.org/2008/01/10/was-nehru-a-dictator/ ] post of yours: “I am not entirely sure that to the low man on the totem pole it makes any difference as to what the color of the skin or the national origin of the ruler is.” Do you think the low man on the totem pole is ‘right’ in having that ‘practical’ attitude? Is there a blog post from you that deals *specifically* with this question? Thanks!


  8. but just like his mother, rule by proxy, which is of course a minor thing, practically speaking

    I disagree with this. Ruling by proxy is in fact the worst possible thing in a Democracy. It absolves the proxy ruler from taking any responsibility of his/her action while giving all the power to rule. The present chaos of UPA is because it is being ruled by proxy.

    It make MMS sort of a Manchurian Candidate.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: