Empress of India - an essay
by Francois Gautier·
Like Sonia Gandhi, I am a Westerner and a brought-up catholic. My
father, a very good man, was a staunch Christian; my uncle, whom I
doted upon, was the vicar of the Montmartre Church, one of the most
picturesque landmarks of Paris. Like Sonia Gandhi, I have lived in
India for more than 40 years, and I have had the good fortune to be
married to an Indian. But the comparison stops there. I did land in
India with a certain amount of prejudices, clichs and false ideas,
that most Westerners pick-up here and there (Tintin, Kipling, the City
of Joy, Slumdog Millionaire, today) and I did think in the enthusiasm
of my youth to become a missionary to bring back Indian pagans to
the true God. But the moment I stepped in India I felt that not only
I had nothing much that I could give to India, but rather, that it was
India which was bestowing me.
In fact, in 40 years, India has given me so much, professionally,
spiritually, sentimentally. Most Westerners, who come here, still
think they are here to give something to a country, which,
unconsciously of course, they think is lesser than theirs. It was true
of the British, it was true of Mother Teresa, it is true of Mrs Sonia
It is a fact that Sonia brought discipline, order and cohesion into
the Congress party. But the amount of power, that she, a non-Indian, a
simple elected MP, like hundreds of others, possesses, should frighten
her: a word, nay a glance of her is sufficient to trigger action by
her entourage, using any means. Thus, the instruments of power have
never been so perverted in India. The CBI blatantly and shamelessly
quashed all injunctions against Quattrochi and even allowed him to get
away with billions of rupees which he had stolen from India. Yet,
without batting an eyelid, and with the Indian Media turning a blind
eye, it goes ruthlessly after Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of the
most efficiently run state, the most corruption free, where there is
electricity 24 hours, when half of India is in darkness, where there
is unlimited water supply whereas a drought-like situation is evolving
in many states.
Today the Congress, with Soniaâ's overt or silent consent, pays crores
of rupees to buy MPs to topple non-Congress governments. Her
governors shamelessly hijack democracy by twisting the laws.
Are Indians aware that their country has entered a state of
semi-autocracy, where every important decision comes to a single
individual, residing in her fortress of Janpath, surrounded by dozens
of security men, an empress of India. Are they aware that she controls
tens of billions of rupees of the taxpayers money, which she uses to
keep her party in power? Do they know that the huge amounts of the
scams, whether the 2G, the CWG, or the Adarsh one, do not go into
politicians pockets (only a fraction), but to the coffers of the
Congress for the next general elections, and more than anything to
please Sonia, who is trying to install her son on the throne of India?
Thank God, the Judiciary here still holds some independence!
Nobody seems to notice what is happening under the reign of Sonia
Gandhi. That many leftist intellectuals are allowed to preach
secession in India, whereas on the other hand the Congress Government
has been going after the army, the last body in India to uphold the
time honoured values of the Kshatriya's courage, honour, devotion to
the Motherland, they who alone today practice true secularism, never
differentiating between a Muslim or Hindu soldier, and who, for a
pittance, give daily their lives to their country. First it was the
attempt of a caste census, a divide and rule ploy if there is one;
then there are the many signs that the Government is thinking about
thinning down the presence of the Indian army in the Kashmir Valley,
which will suit Pakistan perfectly.
One hears from persons who know her well, of Sonia's qualities of
honesty, courtesy, or personal care. But would be impossible, in
France for example, to have a non-Christian, say an Hindu for
instance, who is a non-elected president or PM, to be the absolute
ruler of the country behind the scenes, superseding even the PM. There
are many capable people in the Congress. Why can't a billion Indians
find one of their own, who will understand the complexity and subtlety
of India to govern itself? Not only that, but her very presence at the
top has unleashed forces, visible and invisible, that are detrimental
to the country.
There is nothing wrong in espousing the best of the values of the West
- democracy, technological perfection, higher standards of living -
but many of the institutions are crumbling in the West: two out of
three marriages end in divorce, kids shoot each other, parents are not
cared for in their old age, depression is rampant and westerners are
actually looking for answers elsewhere, in India notably.
One does not understand this craze at the moment to westernize India
at all costs, while discarding its ancient values. Mrs Gandhi should
do well to remember that there still are 850 million Hindus in India,
a billion worldwide and that whatever good inputs were brought by
different invasions, it is the ancient values of the spirituality
behind Hinduism, which have made India so special and which gives her
today her unique qualities, making an Indian Christian different from
an American Christian, or an Indian Muslim different from a Saudi one.
The tragedy of India is that it was colonized for too long. And unlike
China, it always looks to the West for a solution to its problems.
Sonia Gandhi, whatever her qualities, is just an incarnation of that
hangover, an Empress of India in new clothes.