A surfeit of sycophants

Nov 10 2013, 04:40 IST
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SummaryIf Sonia had behaved less like the Empress of India and more like a normal political leader, she would have attracted people.

If Sonia had behaved less like the Empress of India and more like a normal political leader, she would have attracted people.

Every time the sycophants that surround the Dynasty offer us a fresh sample of their limitless sycophancy, I find myself understanding better why India was ruled for so many centuries by foreign invaders. As I am blessed with an unusually active imagination, my mind fills with images of Indian kings of yore being ruthlessly abandoned for the new rulers by their courtiers. Having said that, I concede that courtiers in the Gandhi court are extraordinarily loyal. Perhaps because they know that they could not win a municipal election on their own, perhaps because they know that loyalty is the path to high office.

So they have to demonstrate undying, unwavering loyalty at all times and search for profundities in every ordinary statement or idea that comes from Sonia, Rahul or Priyanka Gandhi. The latest example of this came last week when Jairam Ramesh, a relatively intelligent sycophant, pronounced in tones of wonder that Narendra Modi would be nothing if he lost the next election but Rahul Gandhi would still be an important political leader because he plans for future glories, not immediate gains. He is not thinking of the general election of 2014 but of that distant general election that will come in 2019. Of course it is possible that in 2019 he will be thinking of 2024 and some courtier will once more fall to his knees in praise of his amazing foresight.

It is true that there is a difference between Rahul and Modi, and in view of Jairamís latest words of praise, the main one is that if Modi started talking about 2019, the BJP would commit him to the nearest facility for mental illnesses. The point I am trying to make, albeit facetiously, is that no other political leader, not even those who head mini-regional dynasties, are so surrounded by sycophants and flatterers as the Gandhi dynasty. Since they have ruled India for most of her years as an independent nation, this culture of sycophancy has done immeasurable harm to our ancient land. But, what is less discussed is the harm it has done the Dynasty.

If Sonia had behaved less like the Empress of India and more like a normal political leader, she would have attracted people who may have given her better advice. This could perhaps

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