Maa,Papa,Dadi and Rahul’s memories

Rahul described the “anger” he had felt after the killing of his grandmother and father.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Published:October 25, 2013 4:40 am

Until Thursday,much of what Rahul Gandhi had been saying at recent pubic meetings had centred around his immediate family.

On Wednesday,he described the “anger” he had felt after the killing of his grandmother and father. Days earlier,he had mentioned how his unwell mother was moved to tears when she could not vote on the food security bill.

In Rajasthan,he promised to end “quotaism in the political system” the same way as his father,Rajiv Gandhi,had brought an end to the quota system in telephone allocation. He used the phrase “meri maa” 14 times in a 20-minute speech at Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh while showcasing Sonia Gandhi’s commitment to the food security bill. He referred to her as “woh,unko,unhone” many more times. “Dadi”,Indira Gandhi,got two mentions,once at a Dalit conference in Delhi and then in Rajasthan.

A look at some such references:

Shahdol (MP),Oct 17

“I knew my mother was unwell. I was looking at her every five to 10 minutes… After some time,she got up with (Kumari) Sheljaji. I went to the room where they were sitting… Sheljaji said Soniaji was unwell. I said then let’s leave… Maa said she would not go until the bill was passed… She went inside again… I sat at the back again… After 10 minutes,she got up and sat at the back. This time I insisted,‘You have to go to hospital…’ I called up Priyanka and said Maa was not moving from there… She was struggling to breathe. When we were going to the hospital,tears welled up in her eyes. She said,‘Rahul,I fought for this bill for years and wanted to press the button,but I could not’.”

Sangrur (PUNJAB),Oct 10

“My father was a pilot with Indian Airlines. One day,he had to go to the airport to fly a plane. My mother came after some time. She looked terrified. She looked up at the sky and said the weather was bad. She said,‘Your father is flying and I hope he does not have an accident’. Ever since,whenever Papa went flying,Priyanka and I would look up at the sky and think about the weather. We would be terrified.

“I am telling you this because be it the state or the country,it derives its strength from the women. When the mother gets terrified,the entire home gets terrified. And when the home gets terrified,the state gets terrified… Just as my mother was terrified that the weather was bad,every mother in Punjab is terrified whether her son will get addicted to drugs.”

Vigyan Bhavan (Delhi),Oct 8

“I was thinking where I had got this habit from,of siding with the underdog. After thinking a lot,I remembered a conversation with my grandmother… She had told me a story about a visit to Germany as a child…

“She had gone to watch an ice hockey match. The home team was scoring goal after goal. The entire stadium was cheering the home team. When the opposition team made a brilliant move,she stood up and clapped. She was the only one cheering the opposition and the entire stadium shouted her down. She sat down quietly.

“Dadi said she later realised she should not have sat down. She decided that moment that she would never be cowed down again. I got it from her.”

Rahatgarh (MP),Oct 25

Rahul Gandhi on Thursday admitted to factionalism in the MP unit of his party,saying he had asked leaders to pose a united challenge and that they have agreed to do so. “The candidate will not belong to one (leader) but to the entire party,’’ Rahul said.

Rahul said Bundelkhand had become a victim of the BJP’s politics,which he equated with “airconditioners,roads and industrialists”. Recalling the NDA’s “India Shining” slogan,he said,“Have you seen Bundelkhand shining?” He recaled a 2008 visit to the region and how he had taken ill after consuming “gaon ka paani”.

ENS,Bhopal

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