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23.03.2009 Feature Article

India: First ever firebrand politician of Nehru Gandhi family

In Indian politics it was a big setback for Nehru Gandhi family when last days Varun Gandhi 28 attacked on Muslim community in his speech during his election campaign. His comments on Muslim community were so sharp, unconstitutional and abusing that vibrated the Indian politics As the leaders of the right wing Indian political party, Bharatiya Janata Party are well known for their anti minority speeches especially for their anti Muslim comments, so it is not a new exercise for them. Since these current comments are made by that Varun Gandhi who is only son of late Sanjay Gandhi and grandson of former Prime Minister of India late Indira Gandhi and also great grandson of the first prime minister of India Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru and grandson of Feroz Gandhi, therefore it's a matter of discussion for Indian politics. In which circumstances Varun delivered such type of hateful speech? Whether it was pre planned or due to some inevitable political circumstances? Why he did so?

Varun Gandhi is a candidate in the coming general elections to be held in near future for the 15th parliament. He's the parliamentary candidate from Pilibhit parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh. On March 6, during his election campaign he allegedly delivered his hateful speech & abused the Muslim community. He said that their hands would be cut down. Their names & faces are fearful. He compared the beard of Indian Muslims with the beard of Osama Bin Laden. He also said that there should be forceful vasectomy of members of this community. In his speech, he spit out such type of so many venomous hateful dialogues against Indian Muslims. Indian media took it very seriously & criticised him. As a result, Election Commission of India came in action immediately & advised the BJP not to field Varun as Lok Sabha candidate. A criminal case against Varun Gandhi has also been filed & the matter is now under consideration of Court. Very soon it would be also clear that as a result of his hateful activity, whether he would be allowed to contest in the coming elections or not.

Now the basic question arises in this regard is that in which circumstances, a young member of Nehru Gandhi family like Varun became the candidate in the parliamentary elections of the right wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)? Which type of teachings he got from childhood that he spit out such venom? It is necessary to look behind the three decades history to know about it. Varun Gandhi (28) is the only son of late Sanjay Gandhi, who was younger son of Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Sanjay Gandhi was married to Meneka Anand, the daughter of a Sikh family. Now it's clear that Varun's mother was Sikh, not Hindu. On the other side, Varun's grandfather late Feroz Gandhi was also a member of well reputed Parsi (Zoroastrian) family of Allahabad. It is the reason that Varun writes his complete name as 'Varun Feroz Gandhi'. Though he writes it only to maintain his acquaintance with Nehru Gandhi family, nobody can object on it. It is the fact & his right too. But the question arises here, who has Sikh mother & Zoroastrian grandfather, how & why such person like Varun become the firebrand spokesperson of a communal political party. Is it not a mystery?

Regarding his teachings, one thing is also necessary to state that no doubt, in his speech Varun has ridiculed the Muslim community & tried to threaten them. But here it is necessary to highlight the name of a Muslim fellow, who was the closest friend of his parents. Both of them can never ignore his name from their political life. That name is of Akbar Ahmed Dumpy who was childhood friend & classmate of Sanjay Gandhi. Dumpy is grandson of Justice Sir Iqbal Ahmed, former Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court & son of late Islam Ahmed, former Inspector General of Police in Uttar Pradesh. Three decades ago, the stories of the friendship between Sanjay Gandhi & Dumpy used to be published regularly in the newspapers. Sanjay Gandhi gave four points for national awareness & development. First & main point was to organise tree plantation drive. It is notable that the first symbolic tree of this drive was planted by Sanjay Gandhi in the farmhouse of Dumpy at Kitchha town of Nainital district. When Indira Gandhi planned to introduce Sanjay Gandhi in politics, that time Dumpy was serving as chartered accountant in United Kingdom. He was not interested in politics till then. But Sanjay Gandhi called him back to India & kept with him throughout his life as his confidant. It was the climax of their friendship that newspapers published that time, 'when the Sanjay Gandhi's child cries, he becomes quiet in the arms of Dumpy only'. And that child was none other than Varun Gandhi, the person who is abusing the Muslims today.

Anyhow, before reaching the climax of his political career, Sanjay Gandhi left us on 23 June 1980 in a plane crash. Here came a big political question that who'll be political successor of Indira Gandhi. Indira Gandhi had to face a challenging situation when Meneka Gandhi expressed her desire to be the political successor of her late husband Sanjay Gandhi, whereas Ms. Indira Gandhi wanted her elder son Rajiv Gandhi as her political successor. It is different topic that what was right or wrong there. Either Indira Gandhi should have fulfilled the desire of Meneka Gandhi or Meneka should have agreed with Indira Gandhi, is a separate & controversial issue. But during 1980-81, the differences between mother in law Indira & daughter in law Meneka, reached to a breaking point where both of them adopted their different ways. Meneka Gandhi left her in laws residence & separated from Nehru Gandhi family. In this critical situation too, that trusted Muslim fellow of this family Akbar Ahmed Dumpy didn't care about his political future & firmly stood with his friend Sanjay Gandhi's Widow Meneka Gandhi. Thus Dumpy ruined his own political career taking stand against Indira Gandhi & in favour of Meneka. When any friend of Dumpy would try to suggest him that his step will damage his whole political life, Dumpy used to say that first of all his duty was to support his friend's widow.

Today Varun Gandhi is contesting the election from which Pilibhit constituency that was also first time introduced by Dumpy to his mother from where she won her first ever parliamentary election. The people of the Muslim community voted for her only due to the influence of Dumpy. Not only this, even Dumpy was the only person behind Meneka Gandhi who tried to organise supporters of late Sanjay Gandhi behind her under the banner of “Sanjay Vichaar Manch”. It would not be wrong to say that he was the only person behind Meneka Gandhi who laid the foundation stone of her independent political career. The BJP is today taking the benefit of that political career of Meneka Gandhi. Notwithstanding the game of communal polarisation is being played by the BJP, it was beyond expectation that Meneka Gandhi & her son Varun will forget all above facts & will leave the vision of communal harmony & secularism of their ancestors. But if Varun Gandhi is going to adopt the dangerous way of communal polarisation only to get victory in his first ever parliamentary election, then first of all the voters will decide that whether Varun may be the firebrand symbol of Hindutva ideology or not. And voters of the country will also decide that at the critical & challenging time before India, when the nation is working on the vision 2020 & youth of entire nation are working for this noble vision, at the same time whether these youths will be entrapped in the dangerous communal agenda of Varun Gandhi. People of the country who believe in secularism, communal harmony & integrity of the country, they can only feel sorrow to see the vision of Varun. Countrymen specia lly youth can never imagine that a young man like Varun having the words Gandhi along with his name, will expose himself as a communal leader only due to gain in coming elections.

BY TANVEER JAFRI

(About the Author)
Author Tanveer Jafri is a columnist based in India.He is related with hundreds of most popular daily news papers/portals in India and abroad. Jafri, Almost writes in the field of communal harmony, world peace, anti communalism, anti terrorism, national integration, national & international politics etc.He is a devoted social activist for world peace, unity, integrity & global brotherhood. Tanveer Jafri is also a member of Haryana Sahitya Academy & Haryana Urdu Academy (state govt. bodies in India). Thousands articles of the author have been published in different newspapers, websites & newsportals throughout the world. He is also a receipent of so many awards in the field of Communal Harmony & other social activities.

(Email : [email protected] )

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Tanveer Jafri
Tanveer Jafri, © 2009

This author has authored 113 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: TanveerJafri

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