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MY mother strongest: Rahul, Varun and other famous mommy's boys!

October 09, 2013 08:52 IST

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi

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Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi may have faced tremendous flak for trashing the Centre’s ordinance on tainted legislators.

But he didn't really think his political stunt was in bad taste because, well, maybe he doesn't spend that much time thinking.

I mean, wouldn't it be worrisome if Gandhi did actually spend time weighing his words and still came out with priceless statements like 'poverty is a state of mind', 'I have seen heaps of ashes where bodies have been burnt', 'If you listen to our 1.2 billion people, we can get things done immediately' and so on?

Let's just say that such comments from Gandhi junior are, for the lack of a better word (that word being stupid), 'spontaneous'.

So anyway, Gandhi didn't really think the brouhaha over his very public insult of India’s prime minister was a big deal, though 14,000 of our dear readers did think so.

That is when his mother, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, had to actually step in and tell him "beta, aisa nahi bolte".

"My mother told me the words I used were wrong. In hindsight, may be the words I used were strong but the sentiment was not wrong," the Congress vice president admitted sheepishly.

So while we wait (with fear and amusement in equal parts) for the next burst of 'spontaneity' from Rahul, let's take a look at some other mommy’s boys in Indian politics.

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Image: Congress President Sonia Gandhi with son Rahul and daughter Priyanka
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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Menaka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi

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Sometime during the run-up to the 2009 Lok Sabha election, Varun Gandhi probably got tired of being overshadowed by his better known (and better looking) cousin Rahul, and decided it was time for some drastic measures.

So Gandhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate from Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh, allegedly made some shockingly distasteful communal comments at a political rally which were duly captured on video, leaked to eager television channels and then played relentlessly, all the way to posterity.

Of course, Varun claimed he was innocent and the video had been doctored by his opponents (Gasp!). He was subsequently acquitted in two cases of hate speech by the local courts.

His detractors alleged that Varun had probably got the 'make-crazy-comments-grab-headlines' idea from his mother, BJP leader Maneka Gandhi, of the 'drinking milk is like drinking cow’s blood' School of Thought.

Maneka went on to outdo her son in the ‘guess what I have been smoking’ category by presenting an equally bizarre defence.

"It has become imperative for the Congress to show such tapes to conceal their anti-Sikh acts," she declared.

Huh?

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Image: BJP leader Maneka Gandhi with son Varun


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Vijayamma and Jagan Mohan Reddy

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A family which goes on hunger strikes together, makes up conspiracy theories together and enjoys its allegedly ill-gotten wealth together, stays together.

This has been proved by YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy, his sister Sharmila and their mother Vijayamma.

Granted, the CBI did put a major spanner in all this family camaraderie by sending Jagan to jail for 16 months over charges of corruption. But those charges, as all the three members of late Andhra Pradesh chief minister YSR Reddy’s family will tell you, are part of a massive conspiracy mounted by jealous leaders of the rival Congress party.

Even YSR’s death in a chopper crash in September 2009 has left “lurking doubts” in the mind of Vijayamma, the publicity-shy-CM-wife-turned-shrewd-politician.

While Vijayamma took over the reins of the party after Jagan’s incarceration in May last year, Jagan proved his devotion to his mother in August by continuing the hunger strike launched by her, to oppose the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

And just like his mother, the YSR Congress chief had to be hospitalised after a few days of the family hunger relay race.

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Image: YRS Congress President Jagan Mohan Reddy with mother Vijayamma


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Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi

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He is the most famous, or rather, infamous mommy’s boy in the history of Indian politics. Period.

Though historians may argue that it was, in fact, Sanjay Gandhi who seemed to control and micro-manage nearly every aspect of his mother and then prime minister Indira Gandhi’s life, politics and decision-making process.

The reign of Sanjay, who held no official position whatsoever within the party or the government, is today remembered with a shudder, and for good reason.

The Emergency of 1975, imposed by an insecure Indira, gave unprecedented powers to the prime minister’s son and, arguably, brought out the worst in him.

Sanjay and his equally unscrupulous friends virtually ran the government. While at it, they almost managed to run the government, and the party, to the ground.

A disastrous attempt at starting a multi-million auto factory, firing on hapless slum-dwellers and forcibly sterilising thousands of people are all part of the legacy left behind by them.

His nephew, Rahul Gandhi, would do well to draw a few cautionary lessons from how lethal a concoction of too much power, zero accountability and a sycophantic entourage can be for a young, entitled politician.

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Photographs: Indira Gandhi with Sanjay Gandhi

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Vasundhara Raje and Dushyant Singh

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While opposition leaders take potshots at him openly for being a 'mommy's boy', Dushyant Singh, son of BJP leader Vasundhara Raje, is unfazed.

He is probably the proudest 'mommy’s boy' politico out there.

Despite serving two terms as a MP from Jhalawar-Baran in Rajasthan, Dushyant remains in the formidable shadow cast by his famous mother. He also accepts the rather humbling fact that most people vote for him because he is the son of the ‘Maharani’.

The mother-son duo plays to the gallery while seeking votes. While the former Rajasthan chief minister exhorts people to vote for her son in the same way they have voted for her all these years, her young son maintains a relatively low-profile around his feisty mother.

When asked about his mother's omnipotent hold on his political career, Dushyant testily told Times of India during the 2009 Lok Sabha campaign, “Yes, I am my mama's boy. She is my guide and my inspiration and I do go to her for help. So what? Don't the Congress leaders go to their mothers all the time?”

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Image: Vasundhara Raje and Dushyant Singh
Photographs: Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/Dushyant.Singh.Dholpur

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