Global Views
   Middle East & Africa
 Embassy News
 Arts & Living
 Travel & Hotel
 Medical Tourism New
 Letters to Editor
 Photo Gallery
 News Media Link
 TV Schedule Link
 News English
 Hospitals & Clinics
 Flea Market
 Moving & Packaging
 Religious Service
 Korean Classes
 Korean Weather
 Real Estate
 Home Stay
 Room Mate
 English Teaching
 Job Offered/Wanted
 Hotel Lounge
 Foreign Exchanges
 Korean Stock
 Business Center
 PR & Ads
 Arts & Performances
 Restaurants & Bars
 Tour & Travel
 Shopping Guide
 Foreign Missions
 Community Groups
 Foreign Workers
 Useful Services
 ST Banner Exchange
Indian National Congress & Nehru-Gandhi Family
By Tanveer Jafri
Contributing Writer
Sonia Gandhi (born Edvige Antonia Albina Maino in Lusiana, Italy on Dec. 9, 1946) is the Italian-born President of the Indian National Congress and the widow of former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi.

Since the freedom struggle, the Indian National Congress has played a crucial role. Under the flag of the Congress & the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, while the people from all states, regions, religions & communities got India freed from the British rule, the same Congress is also the witness of the unfortunate tragedy of the partition of India. Notwithstanding the assumption of India-Pakistan partition as religion based, the leaders of the Congress, showing their magnanimity, succeeded in maintaining the secular character of the nation as was before partition. The secular credentials of the Congress established by Mahatma Gandhi were carried on by Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru & other Congress leaders.

Nehru, the first Prime Minister of free India was so much influenced by the principles of secularism & communal harmony of Gandhi, that being belonging to a high caste Brahmin family, the former had full faith in all the religions. He used to go to Temples, Mosques, Gurudwaras, and Churches etc. He had the interest in studying the sacred texts of all the religions. An Islamic scholar used to visit Anand Bhawan, his Allahabad situated home, to teach him Arabic & Persian. His father, Pundit Motilal Nehru named his house Anand Bhawan, in consultation with the famous poet Akbar Allahabadi. The secular credentials of Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru are evident from the fact that he got married her only daughter Indira Nehru to a Zoroastrian Feroz Gandhi.

Born in a Zoroastrian family in 1912, Feroz Gandhi was married to Indira Nehru in 1942. Since then, she was being called as Indira Gandhi. They had two children. Rajiv Gandhi, the elder son was born in 1944 & after two years, in 1946, Sanjay Gandhi, the younger son was born. Notwithstanding being son-in-law of the first Prime Minister, Feroz Gandhi had independent thoughts. He was a journalist, writer & a social worker. In 1952, in the first general elections, Feroz Gandhi contested from Raebareli (Uttar Pradesh) & won. He even criticized the government on issues, he didn’t agree. After his death in 1960, Indira Gandhi took over her husband’s election constituency & maintained it.

As Pundit Nehru, showing his secular credentials, got her only daughter married in a Zoroastrian family, following the same tradition, Indira Gandhi too got married her both sons according to their wishes. Elder son, Rajiv Gandhi was married to Edvige Antonia Albina Maino (Sonia Gandhi), an Italian born Roman Catholic. Younger Son, Sanjay Gandhi was married to Maneka Anand, a Sikh girl. Time passed, and once again putting aside the hurdles of caste & religion, Sonia Gandhi got her daughter Priyanka Gandhi married to Robert Vadra, a Punjabi boy. Robert’s mother is a Christian & father, a Punjabi.

Anyhow, what I mean to say is that if we attempt to analyse any member of the Nehru-Gandhi family on the basis of caste or religion, we would not be able to draw any conclusions. The larger fact is that even today most of the Indian people are supporters & well wishers of this family & this family enjoys great respect & affection. On one hand, some communal organizations continuously try to divide the nation on the basis of caste & religion; on the other hand, notwithstanding the assassinations of the Prime Ministers like Indira Gandhi & Rajiv Gandhi, the same family is continuously engaged in promoting the secularism & brotherhood. Though after the death of Rajiv Gandhi, the Congress received the huge setback, but by the entry of Sonia Gandhi, the Congress has been revitalised. Indeed in the 2004 general elections, the Congress party returned to the power. Besides hard work, Sonia Gandhi had to face the low grade accusations from her opponents. The whole world witnessed that when after 2004 general elections, the Congress elected her as the leader of the Congress Parliament Party & none of the allies had any objection of her becoming the Prime Minister, at the same time, some leaders of the opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised the issue of her foreign origin & as a result, she had to reject the post of Prime Minister. This was the first ever incidence in the Indian politics, when a person is first called by the President to form the government & the same person, instead of becoming the Prime Minister, recommends the name of some other person for the post of Prime Minister. She recommended the name of Dr. Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister & he became the Prime Minister of India in 2004.

The good thing in the last decade is that both the children of Sonia Gandhi; Rahul Gandhi & Priyanka Gandhi have become mature enough in politics. In fact, Rahul Gandhi was elected the Member of Parliament in 2004 from his father’s constituency Amethi. This time Rahul is going to contest the second election of his life. The Congress, which has been weakened from the last two decades, has much hope from these two young faces. Rahul Gandhi wants to carry on the science & technology revolution, started by his father. He has a team of young Member of Parliaments, who are fully devoted for the overall development of the nation.

Priyanka Gandhi, who always denied active participation in politics, has also indicated of her entry into active politics. Time will tell whether in the wake of repeated targeting of Nehru-Gandhi family by the fundamentalist forces, the Congress would be able to get back its lost entity. But one thing is clear that the work done by this family in presenting the secular & vibrant image of India at international level is indeed incomparable. Perhaps this is the reason that when any person of this family goes to any part of the country, the crowd of thousands of people gathers, just to get a glimpse of touch. It can be said that if the tradition of secularism & communal harmony is the hallmark of the Nehru-Gandhi family & it is being followed generation to generation.

Related Articles
    Shia-Sunni Conflict: An Outcome of American ...
    Pakistan on the Verge of Collapse
    Likelihood of Military Rule in Pakistan
    Why the Fatwa against Terrorism Is Ineffective?
    Angola: A Conspiracy to Ban Islam?
    Wrong Interpretations by Maulvis Defaming Islam
    Is Iraq on the Verge of Civil War?
    Is Iraqon the Verge of Civil War?
    India Moving towards a Constitutional Crisis?
    "Ideological Terrorism," Biggest Threat to ...
    Hafiz Saeed: an Angel or a Demon?
    Libya: As You Sow, So Shall You Reap
    Message from Tsunami
    Qaddafi’s Departure Is Not Easy
    India and the Turmoil in the Middle-East
    Black Money and Political Stunts
    People in Mood of Throwing Away Despots
    Closure of BBC Radio Service Is Biggest ...
    Need to Free Islam from Clutches of Extremism
    Taseer's Assassination in Context of Islamic ...
    India: Adieu 2010, Welcome 2011
    Islam Rejuvenated in Karbala
    True Nationalism of Azim Premji
    When the Most Powerful Person Bowed Down ...
    Kashmir at the Crossroads
    Conspiracy behind 9/11 Should Be Revealed Now
    Today's World and Gandhian Thought!
    Pakistan Getting Worse in Ramadan Holy Month
    Pakistan -- The Victim of Suicidal Politics
    A Conspiracy to Transform India's Heaven into ...
    India’s Heritage-Acceptance and Harmony
    It's Difficult to Trust Pakistan for Terrorism ...
    Is This the Reality of "True Muslims?"
    What Is True Religion?
    Islamic Fatwa(s) Challenging Human Rights
    Wake up Pak Rulers! It’s already too late
    Face-Covering in Islam
    Sania "Sensation" -- From Tennis to Wedding
    How to Tackle Natural Disasters?
    India Needs Independent Strategy to Tackle ...
    Anti-Islamic Activities of "Jihadi" Fighters
    Saudi Arabia -- Also a Patron to Hafiz Sayeed?
    A Case for Continuing Talks
    Possible Consequences of America's New Afghan ...
    If Shah Rukh Khan Is a "Pak Jehadi Agent" Then ...
    Politics & Religion
    Nature Showed Its Might Again
    Suicide Bombers Are a Threat to Humanity
    Regional Satraps Raising Their Heads in India
    India: Veterans of Disguised Politics, Once ...
    India and Pakistan Post 26/11
    Voice of Separatism Once Again Heard in India
    Misleading Statements Can End Pakistan’s ...
    Taliban Now Out of Control of Pakistan
    Nobel for Obama: Right or Wrong?
    Indian Festivals establishing Communal Harmony ...
    Barara's Ravana Ready to Break Its Own World ...
    Corruption, No Less Dangerous than Communalism
    Shameful Adieu for Advani
    Action against Musharraf- An Invitation to ...
    BJP Refuses to Read the Writing on the Wall
    Race for WMDs: Biggest Threat to Mankind
    The Curious Case of Balochistan
    Kalam’s frisking: Burning Questions
    Expected Relief to Nawaz Sharif
    Zardari’s Confession: Better Late than Never
    Veil and the Theory of "Clash of Civilisations"
    Varun Gandhi: Boon or Bane for the BJP
    Policy of Radical Hindutva Boomeranged on the ...
    Taliban Encouraging Sect Violence
    Taliban: an Ideology, Not the Force of Fighters
    India: Politics of Communalism, Egoism & ...
    Flag Bearers of "Ram Rajya" in Secular India
    "Ram Rajya," "Good Governance" & "India ...
    A Lesson for Hypocrite "Nationalists"
    Need to Free Islam from Clutches of Terrorists
    India: First Ever Firebrand Politician of ...
    Past, Present, Future of Indian Nat'l Congress
    Inconsistent Politics, Unstable Pakistan
    Storms Are Strong Enough
    "Mission Change" of Obama
    Taliban Propagating Religion or Irreligion
    Alas! Yazid Is Reborn
    New Formulae of Obama's Peace
    Expectations and Challenges before Obama
    Corpses and Politics
    Adieu Bush and Welcome Obama
    Consequences of Bush Policy
    How Far Is the War?
    Hussain, Iraq, Bush and Shoes
    Pak's Misunderstanding
    Global Attempt for Terror Relief
    Al Qaida: Muslim's Foe or Friend
    Terrorists Religion
    Will Obama Be Able to Check Clash of Culture
    Strong Possibility of Sarabjeets Release
    Hypocrites & Separatists in India
    World Peace and Shia-Sunni Unity
    Terrorism Opinion Sources Need a Hard Blow
    The Holy Quran: Teachings & Teachers
    The Holy Quran: Doubts & Solutions
    India in the Grip of Terrorism
    Terrorism, Indian Festivals & Communal Harmony
    Pak: Unstable Politics and Terrorism
    From Where the Attackers are Inspired
    Do Not Tame Poisonous Snakes in Kashmir
    India: Responsible for Burning J&K?
    India: Attack on Stable Communal Harmony
    A Base for Another World War
    Nuclear deal -- Indians in a fix
    Pak Nuclear Reactors & the Terrorists
    Population Increase Movement among Extremists
    Crumbling Relations between American & Pak ...
    Nepal Welcomes Democracy
    American Target -- Terrorism or Islam?
    Indian Tolerance: A Curt Reply for Terrorists
    River Linking Project of India -- Expectations
    Super Star Amitabh Bachchan Nationalist, Not ...
    Shia-Sunni Unity for World Peace
    Iraq War: Who Lost, Al-Qaeda or Iraqi People
    Sarabjit's Release May Prove a Milestone
    US Support to Tibet Movement: A Blessing or a ...
    Sonia Gandi Looks Towards India's Future
    The Dare-Devil Communalism
    'Bharat Ratna' in the Political Whirl
    Obstacles for Parvez Musharraf
    Benazir's Martyrdom -- A Memorable Sacrifice
    Secular India & Narendra Modi
    Pak -- May God Save You!
    Faces of BJP
    Why Fondness for Taslima?
    India : Another Effort to Crack the Society
    Congress: On Thorny Path- Another "Mr. Clean"
    Mistakes of Moments, Sufferings for Centuries
    Imagery of Ram Rajya and Gujarat
    Indian Festivals -- Religious & Social Aspects
    Gandhian Philosophy: Nobler than Nobel Prize
    India: Truth, Facts & Cricket
    What Is Important - Power or Ram?
    Pakistan in Hot Waters
    Operation Sunrise: Not an End
    Pakistan under Dark Clouds
    Lal Masjid to Satanic Dwelling
    India: Political Storm on Presidential ...
    Degrees Conferred on Rushdie & Laden
    Obscure Attacks on Iraq Mosques
    Amitabh in Political Spiral
    India: Kalam, The First Preference
    Dwindling Democracy in South Asia
    Failure of Another Effort To Spoil Communal ...
    A Change Awaits Pakistan
    Justice in George Bush's Veto?
    Representatives of Islam: Emperors or Saints
    A Tumour in Islam - Shia Sunni Conflict
    A Planned Conspiracy around the World
    Disturbed Iraq. Why?
    Millennium Star Amitabh Bachchan & Politics
    Media Should Tell Reality, Not Reflection
    Terrorism vs. Communal Harmony in India
    Only A Progressive Statesman Can Make the ...
    America-Iran Cold War in Iraq
    Only Patriotism Can Lead to "Developed India"
    Muslims Awareness on Saddam Issue
    Why Saddam So Popular?
    Is Deputy PM's Office in India Justified?
    Why Only Dujail Carnage: A Cause of Execution
    The Foes of Humanity: Extreme Thoughts
    Is Deputy Premiere's Office in India Justified?
    Indian Muslims Uplift: A Try
    Indian Parliament Felt Ashamed Again
    Indian Muslims Efforts to Unite on Secularism
    Veils & the Muslim Women
    Shia, Sunni Differ on Saddam's Death Sentence
    Controversy on Capital Sentence
    See, Which Way the Wind Blows
    Prof. Yunus Brought Economics to the Poor
    Quacks in Islam -- Well Wishers or Harmful
    India: Festivals & Communal Harmony
    Laden's Religion?
    Live & Let Live
    Vande Mataram -- A Political Game
    Case of Communal Harmony: Indian Madarsas
    Israel 's Invitation to Third War!
    India: Terrorism Vs The Muslims
    Hindrance in World Peace: Central Asia Conflict
    India: Vision 2020 & Kalam's Reelection
    Nepal: Let Us See Which Way the Wind Blows
    Bush Jr: Most Defamed President of US History
    S. Korea's Stand on Conscientious Objectors
    Shadow of Pentagon on CIA

Other Articles by Tanveer Jafri
     Shia-Sunni Conflict: An Outcome of American ...
     Pakistan on the Verge of Collapse
     Likelihood of Military Rule in Pakistan
     Why the Fatwa against Terrorism Is ...
     Angola: A Conspiracy to Ban Islam?

Mr.Tanveer Jafri, who serves as contributing writer for The Seoul Times, is a noted columnist in India. He writes on a variety of issues including world peace, anti-terrorism, and national & international politics for numerous news dailies and portals in India. As a devoted social activist he is member of Haryana Sahitya Academy & Haryana Urdu Academy.






The Seoul Times, Shinheung-ro 36ga-gil 24-4, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 04337 (ZC)
Office: 82-10-6606-6188 Publisher & Editor: Joseph Joh
Copyrights 2000 The Seoul Times Company  ST Banner Exchange