The Gandhis and the Kims: India, North Korea bhai-bhai

With Rahul Gandhi as Congress’ crown prince, India and North Korea are lodged as twins co-joined by an allegiance to dynastic politics
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First Published: Mon, Jan 21 2013. 11 08 AM IST
If the Kim dynasty has been in power in one of the world’s least developed nations for the last 65 years, India hasn’t been amiss in its genuflecting to the wrong Gandhi family for a similar period. Photo: Reuters
If the Kim dynasty has been in power in one of the world’s least developed nations for the last 65 years, India hasn’t been amiss in its genuflecting to the wrong Gandhi family for a similar period. Photo: Reuters
Updated: Mon, Jan 21 2013. 04 14 PM IST
In the end it was a memorable “chintan shivir”. It reaffirmed India’s dynastic politics and in doing so placed us on the same pedestal as that most reviled of nations, North Korea. With the elevation of Rahul Gandhi as the Congress’ crown prince, India and North Korea are now firmly lodged as twins co-joined by a common allegiance to dynastic politics. If the Kim dynasty has been in power in one of the world’s least developed nations for the last 65 years, India hasn’t been amiss in its genuflecting to the wrong Gandhi family for a similar period.
North Korea officially refers to Kim Il-sung as “The Great Leader” and he is designated in the North Korean constitution as the country’s “Eternal President”. We might as well do the same and embed a Gandhi scion as “eternal successor” in our Constitution.
What’s strange is why the Congress needed a “chintan shivir” to come up with this hardly-unexpected announcement. “Chintan”, one presumes implies debate, discussion perhaps also a round of disagreement. Judging by the euphoria with which the senior-most leaders of the party, besides of course the rank and file, greeted the anointment, it must have been one of those flash decisions.
India’s Kim Il, then proceeded to make a speech of such remarkable perspicacity, that for a minute you are forced to believe that this man has earned the right to be the nominated ruler of this country. Said the Gandhi scion, “Power is grossly centralized in our country, we only empower people at the top of a system…We don’t believe in empowering people all the way to bottom. Every single day I meet people who have tremendous understanding, deep insight and no voice... And then I meet people holding high positions with tremendous voice, but no understanding of the issues at hand.” Surely he was talking about himself, wasn’t he? Every member of his family, by birth or by marriage, has enjoyed the privileges of being part of that very power elite!
Someone, somewhere is having an all mighty laugh at India’s democratic pretensions.
Do you think Rahul Gandhi is the best possible person to lead the party in the coming general elections? Take Mint poll here, and give us your opinion.

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      First Published: Mon, Jan 21 2013. 11 08 AM IST
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