- The recently opened Bandra Worli Sea link has been renamed Rajiv Gandhi Setu
- The technology park at Chandigarh has been named after Rajiv Gandhi
- The newly opened IIM ,Shillong has been named Rajiv Gandhi IIM (none of other IIT/IIM's have been named after any other Indian dignitary)
- IIT kharagpur named its new school of intellectual proprietary law school as Rajiv Gandhi School Of Intellectual proprietary law
- More than 2 decades after the sensational reveleation of corruption in Rajiv's Cabinet the UPA govt gave a clean chit to Bofors CEO quatraochi
- There seems to be a hidden agenda at the south block to name every big thing coming up in India after the damned prime minister
Over the past 60 years of existence of Indian State,more than two thirds of the time the controlling power in India has belonged to the Nehru-Gandhi family.It was Nehru,Indira and Rajiv in the past and Sonia today.While the Nehru Gandhi failed to achieve anything sunstantial for the Indian people,over the years the dynastic control over the Indian state has led to many attempts to glorify the past.So while it was traditional during Indira's time to have institutions ,schemes and blah blah named after Nehru,Rajiv and Sanjay made a desperate attempt to glorify Indira,despite the fact that most people attribute Indira to be responsible for killing the ethos of Indian democracy,strengthening family rule and introducing suitcase politics in India.Fast forward 2009 and the current UPA govt ,puppet controlled by her higness Smt Sonia Gandhi seems to be all set to make an icon out of Rajiv. For one thing ,Indian public has a short memory,so stupid as these plans might sound they may infact work.So with Sonia having threads of all puppet ministers in her hands ,she seems to be all set to buy history for her dead husband and make him an icon responsible for the Indian growth story and technological transformation.
To bring out my argument ,let me pen down a bit of history.Rajiv GAndhi became teh prime minister of India when his dead mothers doffer won Congress the largest majority ever in Indian parliament.Congress won 411 seats in the Lok Sabha,meaning it had absolute power to introduce reforms and all changes that India so much needed.India was growing at the hindu rate of lowly 3-4% ,had a huge foreign excahnge deflicit and the economy was in complete shambles.There was geowing pressure from the World Bank and other foreign institutions to liberalise Indian economy,failing which India would face decreased aid and credit facilities.In this background when Rajiv became the prime minister with the image of Mr clean much was expected of him by the new junta.However it did not take him long to prove his worthlesness.Ministers were changed with ferocious velocity,top beuraucrats were the ones who were the top "chamchas" and reforms were undertaken with a half heart under tremendous pressure.As one of the beuraucrat quips under annonymity "Rajiv was very strict in mantaining distance with officers...".While the Rajiv Gandhi government functioned as usual,the outside clean image was broken when the then minister Mr VP Singh revealed how briefcase politics had become a core competence of the governmnet.Subsequently Rajivs name figured prominantly in the Bofors scam.Also significant wqas the Shah Bano case when Rajiv introduced a bill in parliament to reverse SC judgment allowing a muslim lady alimony on divorce.This was in regular congress tradition of Muslim appeasment to form a strong votebank.During Rajivs term as PM,the Indian rupee devalued from Rs12-Rs17 per dollar,the trade deflicit widened,governemnt became more inefficient.His tenure is best described in words of neutral UCLA SSC website
While Rajiv's contribution ,and infact that of whole Nehru Gandhi family is debatable ,what puzzles one more is the fact that is our country so poor that we have to resort to Rajiv's name to name anything big coming up in our country.Perhaps the government views the contribution of Swaminathan-the father of Indian Green Revolution or Abdul Kalam or Ratan Tata as insignificant in front of those of Rajiv.(certainly they were significant,they didnt sell their souls,or killed democracy,or created fooled foreign policies).Clearly the South Block seems to be compromising the democratic ethos which our forefathers envisioned for us while writing the Indian Constitution.
Thus while Mrs Gandhi has a very direct relation to creation of the "rajiv" icon,in terms of personal satisfaction and future political career of Rahul Gandhi.Perhaps by making "Rajiv Gandhi" as the next "Sher Shah Suri" or "Akbar" of India Mrs gandhi not only wants to make the contribution of her family to the Indian context significant but also secure the future political career of the Gandhi Scion and her son Rahul.What better way to launch Rahul into prime-ministership than on the backdrop of Indian growth story so well "attributed" to his father Rajiv Gandhi.The Congress on the other hand seems to steadfastly support the move as it offers all gandhi chamchas an opputunity to appease "madam" and move up the heirchy..maybe a ministeral berth for all congressmen hav forgotten to even dream of being the PM one day.And what about the institutions ,that seem to accept the names with min of revolt,laying down the culminated brand value over the years.Well the feelings are best described in words of one HRD official "Sahab naam mein kya rakha hya..its easy to get fundings ones one attatches Rajivs name to the scheme"
So with Mrs Gandhi all set to re write history and name every major street,educational institution and achievment of the country after her husband..one million dollar question remains,"Will she succeed".Well in ancient India ,the kings and queens appointed biographers to write and glorify their era but yet history views them as they are supposed to be viewd.So Mrs Gandhi maybe you can buy some time,maybe a gnereal election but eventually you cant really imortalise someone who doesnt deserve to be.