September 02, 2002

Amma Namam Vazhgha !

Out of the blue came what has been described by the popular media as an "attack" on Sonia Gandhi by Jayalalithaa CM of Tamil Nadu. Jayalalithaa expressed her opposition to the candidature of Sonia to post of Prime Minister of India on the grounds that she (Sonia) was a 'foreigner' ( for the record, she is a citizen and as per the constitution, as of today eligible to contest for the highest office in the country ) at a press conference in New Delhi. Now this issue was raised by the BJP during the last general election as well. Ofcourse the BJP cannot raise such an issue without being labelled as anti-Christian etc. But this time around the Congress has suddenly been caught unawares.

Ms J.J had quite an interesting choice of words to describe the Congress (I) party. "(It is a) crying shame and a pointer to the moral bankruptcy of the Congress which was in the forefront of the struggle to end foreign rule to do an about-turn."

Now that this issue has been brought to the forefront yet again here's what I think. Given that the constitution clearly states that any citizen ( naturalized or otherwise) can contest for the highest office we have to adhere to what the constitution says. Given the above I am opposed to Sonia on the grounds that she is INCOMPETENT. Besides being the 'bahu' of Indira Gandhi and wife Rajiv Gandhi what else is Sonia Maino Gandhi's claim to fame. If that qualification is sufficient then why not Maneka for PM ! ( actually me thinks she is better qualified, atleast she has an issue 'protection of animal rights' !). This is the longest period of time that Congress (I) has been out of power and they are willing to do anything to get back to power. Jaya Amma is right, this definitely is an indicator to the "moral bankruptcy" of the Congress (I). Anyway back to the incompetence of Antonia Maino Gandhi ( yeah it is Sonia we are still talking about). Thats the name that appears on her citizenship application and there has been no official notification changing her name to "Sonia" and I do not see any reason to address in a name that she does not want to be addressed by. Besides being the leader of the Opposition since 1999 she has little or no experience in politics. Not to mention that her performance in the parliament has been downright pathetic. (I am not merely stating, there are several references to it , if you are in need of proof please use the comment section to request it and I will gladly furnish it). She does not have the charisma to lead the Congress (I) to victory in an election merely on her abilities/ qualities. She won her last election in a Congress (I) stronghold in Karnataka. She backed out of contesting in Amethi the constituency of her late husband and mother-in-law.

Agreed that she is citizen but what I find interesting is that she applied for her citizenship after living 15 years in India. She got married to Rajiv Gandhi in the year 1968. She did not think of becoming an Indian citizen then, but chose to remain an Italian in India. She obtained permits under the Foreigner's Act every five years to live in India. This certificate is a facility for foreigners who come here for temporary stay. She obtained certificates as a foreigner to stay in India in 1968 valid till 1973; in 1973 again, valid till 1978; once again in 1978, valid till 1983. What's more interesting is the trigger for her to apply for citizenship came in 1984 when Rajiv Gandhi was to contest the elections. This too after a Public interest litigation (PIL) was filed questioning the propriety of a foreigner staying in the house of the PM of India! Please note army personnel are not allowed to marry foreigners when in service, but then the Nehru family are above the law.

Personally I think Indian democracy is still in its infancy and is not mature enough to handle the issues such as the above, heck even in the US a naturalized citizen is barred from contesting for the highest office. An amendment to the constitution needs to be brought about in the parliament restraining naturalized citizens from being able to contest for the highest office. Maybe the amendment can be temporary in nature and it should be brought up for review periodically but it definitely is a necessity.

Now will Ms.Jayalalithaa please back up her words with action and bring about the legislation barring naturalized citizens from holding the highest office in the country .

Then it would be truly the case of Amma Namam Vazhgha, Puratchi Thalaivi Namam Vazhgha !!

Posted by sai at September 2, 2002 02:18 PM
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