Who is Antonia Maino a.k.a. Sonia Gandhi? An average Italian woman who married some guy who ended up becoming the prime minister of India. She acquired the last name “Gandhi” that she currently uses through marriage. Many women traditionally take on the last name of their husbands. That is unexceptionable. What’s remarkable is how she — aided by her minions such as Manmohan Singh, Kapil Sibal, P Chidambaram — is wrecking the country. One can argue that she is responsible for India’s current decline (as if India was not already awfully impoverished) but I believe she is only the proximate cause. The ultimate cause lies elsewhere.
Antonia Maino aka Sonia Gandhi does not command armies. Unlike foreign invaders who plundered India, she has no army at her command. She appears to be plundering India without an army. She has the power to destroy and she is destroying India. Where does her power arise from?
P Chidambaram is probably a crook but he is not an idiot. He is most certainly more intelligent than average and thus certainly more intelligent than Antonia Maino. Born in India, I suspect that PC has more feelings for India than Maino has. In other words, he is more nationalistic than Maino. PC is more educated than Maino and is definitely more capable of understanding policy better than her. Although I have never met either of them, I am sure that in all regards, PC is better qualified to be the president of the Congress party than Maino.
Same goes for all Maino’s minions. They are all better qualified to be the president of the Congress party than Maino is.
(Maino’s minions. Has a certain poetic ring to it, don’t you think? Minions, as the big dic tells us, are “servile followers or subordinates of a person in power.”)
So here’s the question: why does she have the power and not one of her minions?
Maino, and Not Her Minions, Rules
That’s a silly question. Obviously, she has the power because she married Rajiv Gandhi, who was the son of Indira Gandhi, who was married to some guy who assumed the last name Gandhi because M.K. Gandhi decided it would be better received by some Indians, because M.K. Gandhi had figured out that his last name had become a potent talisman for some Indians.
It’s the name, silly, not the person.
What kind of people make important decisions based on names and not on character or ability? Ignorant, superstitious, uninformed, stupid persons. The kind of people to fool whom M.K.Gandhi advised Indira Nehru’s husband to change his last name.
India’s Most Loathsome
These are the people who have been awarded the #1 position by my friend Sandeep in his 2011 List of Most Loathsome People of India.
Charges: You are loathsome. You are lazy, unthinking, uncritical, and insensitive to the crap happening out there to your own country. Your idea of an intellectual conversation is talking about the sexy, super-powerful engine of Lexus or whatever other car and discussing the latest gizmo that further hastens the decline of your near-zero intellectual ability. Your idea of participating in the democratic process is supporting morons like Arvind Kejriwal and watching staged TV debates. Your icon of free speech is the lady at #8. Your idea of reading a newspaper involves drooling over Page 3 soft porn. Your definition of achievement is winning 5 Crores in Kaun Banega Crorepati. Your idol of a clean politician is Manmohan Singh. You don’t know who A K Ramanujan was or whether he existed at all. You think price rise is because of the US economy. You actually believe that the Congress party that Sonia Gandhi heads gave us freedom from British rule. You support Rahul Gandhi because you find his dimples cute. You think secularism is what is still holding this country together. You think the Congress party is a liberal party. You don’t even know what “liberal” means. You think that only politicians are responsible for all this mess you find yourself in. You think freedom in a democracy means allowing people to celebrate Valentine’s Day. You don’t know you’re bending over but you still bend over. And the Queen fucks you over and over again. You deserve it. You are truly loathsome. You are India’s #1 Most Loathsome Person.
Unfair and Unlovely
Actually, Sandeep’s target group is perhaps only the urban, “educated,” middle class and above, not the millions of unwashed masses who have never touched a Page 3 (whatever that be) or even seen a Lexus. Antonia Maino derives her power from the ignorance of the tens of millions who are awestruck by the name “Gandhi” — made even more attractive by the whiteness of the skin. Indians do have a generalized preference for fair skin, having been ruled for a while by white-skinned people. It appears as if as long as they are ruled, they prefer to be ruled by white-skinned people.
Fair enough, I say. Whatever floats your boat. Want to be ruled by a foreign born, white-skinned person? Knock yourself out.
Indians have been ruled by foreigners because Indians don’t have a generalized distaste for being ruled. They don’t have a very strong preference for freedom. No doubt for a foreign rule, you need to have foreign rulers but — here’s the other part of the story that does not get sufficient play — you have to have obedient domestic subjects. People have to acquiesce and voluntarily agree to be ruled.
Preference Precedes Action
In the ultimate analysis, no matter how incompetent, malign, dishonest, immoral, ignorant and myopic Maino’s minions are, they are there because Maino is powerful — and she derives her power from the ignorant masses who care only about the name and not the substance. They are indeed the source of India’s downfall today, just as they have been in the past.
I keep saying that India will never be truly free until the Congress party is given a decent burial. But that burial will not happen until Indians understand the meaning of freedom. I don’t think sufficient number of Indians have a sufficiently broad understanding of freedom is. The vast majority don’t have a visceral feel for freedom, because they have had so little taste of it over the centuries that they have lost the sensibility to even feel the loss of freedom. It’s a survival mechanism, one developed to cope with a seemingly unalterable reality.
Avoiding Costly Struggles
There is an analog of this capitulation in the case of poverty. Poverty is a very hard condition to bear. So it’s a bit of a puzzle to realize that there are cases where people don’t put in any effort at all to get out of it. Here’s a plausible explanation. The struggle to get out of poverty is costly. If the probability of success is low, then the expected return on that costly investment could be negative. So if one is sufficiently poor, it may be rational to not struggle to get out of it, and to just resign oneself to it. And over long periods of time, people forget what it is to be not poor and lose their desire to be anything else.
Not having tasted any freedom for a long time, people come to believe that a state of bondage is the only way to be.
Maino did not invent colonial rule, nor does she need armies to impose it. She has her minions but the minions are rational in their calculation that their power derives from Maino’s power. And ultimately Maino’s power flows from the mentality of Indians. Until that changes, India will not be free.
Related Post: I have written on the matter of Rahul Gandhi (Raul Vinci) and how he is not to be blamed. “In Defense of Village Idiots.” Nearly two years ago, in Jan 2010.