Have You Ever Heard Sonia, Rahul & Priyanka Praise P. V. Narashima Rao?

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | February 13, 2024 IST

Have You Ever Heard Sonia, Rahul & Priyanka Praise P. V. Narashima Rao?

Sutanu Guru

Executive Director, C Voter Foundation

Most contemporary historians, analysts and commentators now rate P. V. Narashima Rao as arguably the most under rated and possibly one of the best prime ministers of India. If India is now on its way to become the third largest economy in the world, a lot of credit must go to that “inscrutable Indian”, a man of very few words whose actions have shaped India of the 21st century. Sure, other prime ministers who followed him have done their fair bit in transforming India into a genuine global power that has earned respect. But it all really started with Narashima Rao. In that sense, the Bharat Ratna conferred on him about 20 years after his death is a delayed decision. It is also a political decision taken by the Narendra Modi government. But then, everything is about politics everywhere in the world and no sane person would say that P. V. Narashima Rao did not deserve the recognition. The author is convinced he deserved it far more than Rajiv Gandhi. For 10 years during the UPA rule when Sonia Gandhi was the de facto ruler of India, there was a clamour from many Indians for Narashima Rao to be given his place in history and the Congress pantheon.

To the eternal shame of Congress, Sonia Gandhi and her “secular & liberal” coterie made every possible effort to erase his memory as a veteran Congress leader, a chief minister, foreign minister, home minister and prime minister. The author vividly remembers the days after Narashima Rao passed away in 2004. Sonia Gandhi was UPA chairperson, and the finance minister of the Narashima Rao regime Dr. Manmohan Singh was the prime minister. There was not a single photo or portrait of Rao in 24 Akbar Road, the headquarters of the Congress party. Family members and supporters of the just deceased prime minister took his body to 24, Akbar Road so that Congress workers and others could pay their last respects to the man. Virtually every Congress leader admits that the gates of 24, Akbar Road were not opened for his dead body to be kept for a few hours because Vincent George, the personal secretary of Sonia Gandhi had categorically instructed office bearers at the Congress headquarters that Madam did not want the gates to be opened. Heartbroken family members of Rao gave up and his body was flown to Hyderabad since the UPA regime point blank refused to give him a state funeral with honours. Even in Hyderabad, senior Congress leaders (the party was in power there) were so scared of the wrath of Madam that they avoided paying Rao (a mentor to most of them) their last respects. That was the day the author lost all respect for Sonia and the subsequent behaviour of the lady, and her two children convince him even further that their sense of entitlement and their brazen arrogance as if India is their feudal backyard is so embedded that they cannot even comprehend that contemporary Indians (most of them) hold them in contempt. It is this sense of entitlement that has made Rahul Gandhi suffer two humiliating Lok Sabha elections to another “backward” man Narendra Modi whose rise still cannot be digested by the Dynasty. Rahul is headed for a third consecutive Lok Sabha humiliation this year.

Apart from being churlish and petty, it has been politically foolish of Sonia and her kids to disrespect Rao and his legacy. Any sensible and objective Indian acknowledges how Rao, as prime minister saved India from the wolves during his tenure between 1991 and 1996. Old ally and strategic partner Soviet Union collapsed soon after he became the prime minister. Terrorism in Punjab was at its peak. There seemed a possibility of secessionists and terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir snatching away the state from India. Northeastern states were on the boil. A chest thumping Pakistan revelled in inflicting a thousand bleeding cuts on India, with tacit support from the sole superpower USA. The Babri Masjid was demolished by a Hindu mob in December 1992 (a blot no doubt on Rao and his legacy like the 1984 genocide of Sikhs was when he was union home minister). A junior American diplomat called Robin Raphael had the temerity to publicly hector India and question the accession of J&K to India in 1947. Amidst all this, Rao led a minority Congress government with Rajiv and Sonia “loyalists” of his own party baying for his blood. Yet, Rao led the economic reforms process that has permanently transformed India. He mended strained ties with America. He started the process of making Israel a strategic friend. He built bridges with southeast Asian countries. By the time he left office, terrorism in Punjab was finished and terrorism in J&K and the northeast were no longer existential threats. That mobile phone without which you and I cannot imagine life now came to India when he was the prime minister. Under him, the Congress won 140 seats in 1996. Under Rahul Gandhi, the Congress won 44 and 52 seats respectively in 2014 and 2019.

Perhaps that explains the irrational, petty and disgraceful behaviour of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty towards Bharat Ratna.

Disclaimer:

This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write-up have nothing to do with www.prameyanews.com.

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