Modi, who says he was in jail in 1971, doesn’t remember Indira Gandhi

Narendra Modi claimed to have gone to jail for liberation of Bangladesh. Is that why his Government quietly dropped all mention of Indira Gandhi at official functions to mark 50 years of Bangladesh?

Indira Gandhi with troops
Indira Gandhi with troops

Sujata Anandan

Oh, so Indira Gandhi had nothing to do with India's victory in Bangladesh? That really tickled me- for I still remember my parents huddled around the radio as she declared war on Pakistan. And why did our teachers give us all a holiday to celebrate the day after the surrender of 90,000 Pakistani soldiers in East Pakistan to Indian forces- Ah! I now realise that they must have wanted to go on a picnic without the battery of students and so handed us victory flags, making us learn “by heart” Mrs. Gandhi's victory speech as well as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's ‘Tryst with Destiny’ and held a competition between girls and boys to judge who reproduced the two greatest speeches by Indian leaders the best? My father did read out from his newspaper that Atal Behari Vajpayee had hailed Indira Gandhi as Durga for dismembering Pakistan?

Ah, well! I guess all those people were dreaming it all up. For Modi ji knows best, doesn't he? And he only corrected a historical wrong by leaving Mrs. Gandhi's name out of the Vijay Divas celebrations of the 50th year of the liberation of Bangladesh- hadn't he gone to jail for Bangladesh? The RSS never fought for India's independence, but of course they went to jail over East Pakistan! Incredible! But what the heck! Modi hai toh mumkin hai!

Can't he walk on water and make hell freeze over? Yes, so leaving the heroine out of India's biggest story is not such a super-human task, after all. Modi hai toh mumkin hai, after all!

Now let's see what else is possible if Modi is around? Isn't it possible to cede Indian territory to China with barely a Red Eye and a lot of S.T.R.E.A.N.H to one's character?

Of course, Mrs. Gandhi had neither, so why should she be given any credit for the creation of Bangladesh? Modi ji is absolutely right to leave the heroine out of the credits of her own film. She deserves it for dismembering Pakistan? Couldn't she have parachuted into West Pakistan instead and shared his birthday cake with General Yahya Khan, like Modi himself did showing exemplary courage in sipping at the enemy's table even as he was pushing terrorists into our territories?

Not like Indira Gandhi who hanged a Kashmiri terrorist in return for the kidnap and killing of an Indian diplomat in the UK. If she had had better sense, she would instead have sent Maqbool Butt back to Pakistan and with a little more imagination she could have flown with the terrorist to Pakistan to hand him over personally- now that requires nerves of steel!

Her appellation of ‘Iron Lady' is entirely undeserving for what does that softie do afterwards? Flies to Bombay (instead of Pakistan) to apologise to the family of the diplomat for not doing enough to save him from terrorists and taking responsibility for his children until they could stand on their own feet- and all without any cameras in tow in absolute secrecy.

Modi, who says he was in jail in 1971, doesn’t remember Indira Gandhi

Now you know where her grandson Rahul gets it from- didn't he show similar compassion towards Nirbhaya’s family and train her brother to be a pilot at his personal expense? Foolish- like grandmother, like grandson to lose so much mileage from acts tailor-made for hysterical publicity by accompanying them with so much secrecy.

The sign of a strong man is one who faces the camera with nerves of steel when confronted with elephant dung and tiger poop and doesn't let the blowing up of 40 soldiers by a Pakistani terrorist distract him from looking that all-seeing camera directly in the eye so that he gets the better of it.

The mark of a strong man is one who can poke fun at women and get away with laughing at those boorish repartees unlike Mrs. Gandhi who was described as the only man in her cabinet and refused to be flattered by it. Indeed, the Iron Man is one who beats a steel plate to drive away a pandemic and needs nothing else to keep bodies from floating down the river. And, of course, it takes a strong man to drive a thriving economy to the ground and impoverish a billion people in a jiffy – much too easy as compared to the hard uphill task of garibi hatao set for herself by Mrs. Gandhi.

What Iron Lady? When she did not even have the guts to sell off assets like all those dams, railways, airports steel plants, banks etc. It requires exemplary strength of character to ignore public clamour against crony capitalism but obviously Mrs. Gandhi didn't have the nerve and they call her Iron Lady? The nerve!

What do these pseudo-secularist libtards think of themselves calling her a world leader and a statesman when it it’s Modi who has travelled round the world and met foreign leaders more times in just seven years than Mrs. Gandhi did in all her tenures! And how dare they compare Modi's exemplary rule to her Emergency - isn't Modi allowing freedom to all his rivals to roam around freely even if his minions listen into their phones! Mrs. Gandhi did not have the sense to do that either, did she?

She also quickly gave in to the blackmail of farmers who descended on Delhi and did not even have the guts to stop them at the borders and starve them out in the heat and cold for a year like Modi did! Iron Lady? my foot!

They are such pseudo-nationalists, these Nehru-Gandhis! The father wanted his ashes to mingle with the soil of the nation, the daughter wanted every drop of her blood to irrigate that soil! Did they think they will forever be part of the nation?

Well, let me tell you - it is by far more satisfying to spill the blood of others and see it disappear than your own and it is far more comforting to build a home for yourself than a space station or a nuclear plant. You can't go anywhere but up in a rocket - it may never come down and you will be stuck somewhere you don't know forever.

Better to get yourself a luxury aircraft, see! You can make good your escape in in a moment's notice.

Mrs. Gandhi and her son were fools to die for the nation. That is the job of soldiers, not prime ministers. Modi could have taught Mrs. Gandhi a lesson or two. But would she have listened? Not if her grandson is anything to go by. And that's why we must deny her any credit for Bangladesh!

(The writer is Consulting Editor, National Herald, Mumbai. Views are personal)

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