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Pune Speak Up: Sonia Gandhi and her many dwarfs

Tuesday, 5 August 2014 - 10:46am IST | Place: Pune | Agency: dna

Natwar Singh in his recent book "One life is not enough" has raised a storm by criticising Sonia and Rahul Gandhi along with other offensive references. dna asks experts if the former foreign minister is bringing out incidents of nepotism and root cause of bad governance within UPA government, with vendetta for his dismissal

Historic figures can't have private lives...
I am 83 years old and I thought I would write it to leave a legacy for myself and my grandsons. Unfortunately, the media has made it a Sonia centric book. It is not. Look at the books on John F Kennedy- they name every affair he had, every talk he had. Look at Henry Kissinger's book, his conversations with Nikita Khrushchev, Charles de Gaulle and Chou En-lai are reproduced verbatim. Sonia Gandhi is a historic figure and historic figures can have no private lives.
Natwar Singh, Former foreign minister

Storm in a tea cup...
The issues of nepotism and criticism of the Congress leadership is a 'storm in a tea cup'. A significant decision of not taking up the Prime Ministership involves multiple dimensions and unfortunately in all this noise, many individuals seem to claim a larger share of the contribution than otherwise. Whether the intent was with vendetta in mind is the concern only of the author and honestly the average citizen of the country should be least bothered with. What is a bigger concern is how this process has possibly reduced the office of the Prime Minister to a secondary one. Indicators from this author (please note I have not read the book) and by other authors working in the PMO seem to indicate that major decisions were not taken by the PM and his Cabinet but by the Congress leadership. This can have serious impact on governance, which the country surely had over the last 10 years of the UPA govt. It has also set a dangerous precedent where the PM can be remote controlled by forces which have no accountability to the citizens of the country.
Krishnakumar (KK) Iyer, Citizen

Nobody is interested in the past...
I don't think anybody in India is interested in what Natwar Singh is talking about in his autobiographical book "One life is not enough". He has reached a point in his life where he is pretending to reinvent irrelevant things for his survival. We should not waste our time in giving any importance to what he says in his book. The country has moved on and it is irrelevant to know what has happened in the past. He is one of those people who finish their life but want to be relevant. Today India is interested in its future and does not want to grapple with the past anymore. Much damage has been done, we do not want to reinvent or talk about it.
RV Krishnan, Chairman, Business Development Bureau

Cannot believe what they say now..
Natwar Sing and other such people never opened their mouth when they were enjoying the fruits of power. They were the silent witnesses when things were happening before their eyes. But the moment they were sidelined, either for their own faults or for political necessity, they began to spill the beans on private incidents they witnessed. It is difficult to believe in what they are saying. The allegations they are making in their books might be politically motivated. The big defeat of Congress in Lok Sabha election is also encouraging earlier insiders to expose the functioning of UPA government. It shows how the Prime Minister's office was undermined by creating external centres of power.
Vanisree Ramanathan, Faculty, Political Science

Let's not take it in a wrong way...
I feel Natwar Singh is just expressing the differences in viewpoints that existed during the UPA rule, of which he was a part, through his book. The man of his stature, who has played a big role of being a foreign minister of the country has some credibility in what he says. Instead of looking at the book negatively, we should see it as answers to our many questions. After all, it is based on real situations and happenings and is not fictitious. Sonia Gandhi has responded properly by not directly criticizing but giving a continuing the dialogue by writing a book herself, for countering Natwar Singh's references against her. It is not true that Singh has cooked this controversy as a marketing gimmick. Right now it will be incorrect to say whether he was right or wrong. Only when Sonia Gandhi comes out with her book, will we know the reality.
Prakash Pawar, Political Science Professor and Political Analyst

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