A Promised Land: What Barack Obama wrote about Manmohan Singh, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi

By: |
November 17, 2020 10:21 AM

Here is what the 44th US President said about the trio from the Indian National Congress.

The former US President stated that Dr Singh owed Sonia Gandhi for his position in the office. (File image: Reuters)

Barack Obama’s Memoir: Former US President Barack Obama’s memoir ‘A Promised Land’ is set to be released globally today, and it allows readers a glimpse into his journey to the highest office in the US and the world through his eyes. In a book that sheds light to his views, relations and opinions in the diplomatic world, Obama has also opened up about former Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi. The memoir would be released in two parts, and the first part deals with his first four years in office and therefore, does not mention current Indian PM Narendra Modi, according to a report in IE.

Here is what the 44th US President said about the trio from the INC.

Obama’s Memoir: Relations with ex-PM Dr Singh

The former President stated that during his visit to India back in December 2010, then PM Dr Singh “looked frail” and older than his age. He also stated that Singh had expressed his concerns over his decision of ignoring anti-Pakistan calls post the 26/11 Mumbai blasts in 2008 and its impact on the strengthening of the BJP.

He, however, also stated that according to him, the former Indian PM was “scrupulously” honest, thoughtful as well as wise, with whom he shared a warm and productive relationship. He further stated that while Dr Singh could be cautious in his foreign policies regarding the intentions of the US, their meetings confirmed Obama’s view that Dr Singh possessed uncommon wisdom and decency.

But, he wasn’t sure if the election of Dr Singh as the PM was an indication of the future of Indian democracy, or whether it was an aberration.

Dr Singh owed his position to Sonia Gandhi: Obama

The former US President stated that Dr Singh owed Sonia Gandhi for his position in the office. He cited political observers as stating that Sonia did this because Dr Singh was an elderly man without any national political base and therefore, would not be a threat to her son Rahul.

He further described her as a striking woman in her 60s, who had dark and probing eyes, with a quiet regal presence.

At dinner, he added, Sonia listened more than she spoke, and redirected all policy matters to Dr Singh. She mostly tried to steer the conversation towards Rahul, Obama said, adding that he realised her power could be attributed to a “shrewd and forceful intelligence”.

Barack Obama on Rahul Gandhi

Rahul seemed earnest and smart to Obama, who described the Congress leader’s good looks as similar to that of his mother’s. The former US President further stated that Rahul would often present his thoughts on progressive politics and would occasionally ask him about his 2008 Presidential campaign.

However, he stated that Rahul has an unformed and nervous quality to him, and compared him to a student who was eager to impress the teacher and had done the coursework, but either did not have the passion or the aptitude to gain expertise on the subject.

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