India's Princeling

By Dasgupta, Swapan | Newsweek, January 25, 2013 | Go to article overview

India's Princeling


Dasgupta, Swapan, Newsweek


Byline: Swapan Dasgupta

A 'part-time politician' promises change. Is he for real?

Whenever the government in Delhi is confronted with a crisis--and these have been bimonthly affairs ever since the showpiece Commonwealth Games of 2010 became a tale of scandalous mismanagement--Twitter has been abuzz with an inevitable question: where is Rahul Gandhi? It's a question that can rarely be definitively answered.

Two biographies have been written about the 42-year-old vice president and heir apparent of India's ruling Congress party. Common to both books is a curious omission: neither author interviewed or interacted with the subject, a member of Parliament whose name is often prefaced with the words "youth icon."

The Gandhis are special. The normal rules of politics don't apply to the family. India's democracy is chaotic and spiritedly argumentative, and the media are fiercely competitive, deeply divided on political and ideological lines, and modestly irreverent. At the same time, the incessant questioning, hectoring, and even insolence stops at the door of the Gandhi family. Sonia Gandhi, chairperson of the Congress party, rarely subjects herself to interrogation (unless it is carefully prescripted), and questioning her son, Rahul, invariably results in a polite brushoff.

Rahul enjoys the highest level of security available--on par with the prime minister. Yet, queries about his movements under the Right to Information Act are routinely declined on grounds of "security." The point is, Rahul chooses not to get his hands dirty.

This Christmas, Delhi exploded in spontaneous anger over a horrific gang rape that led to the death of the victim. There were protests that led to a bewildered police force using tear gas and water cannons. The mood soon turned antipolitical, and there was resentment against the government's emphasis on VIP security and its neglect of the safety of ordinary people. Politicians skulked inside their protected bungalows, afraid to engage with the angry youngsters who spearheaded the protests. The more clever among them expressed their sympathy through ritualized soundbites on TV, and Sonia Gandhi, it is said, met with a delegation.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

India's Princeling
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.