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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.




Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

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17 January, 2009

Anointing Rahul Gandhi

Salman Khurshid says of Rahul Gandhi:

It is very obvious that one day he is going to be prime minister, I hope he becomes a very young PM, why not? I think it is very clear that he is amongst top leaders and it is also very clear that he strongly believes in a sense of propriety and democracy.

Let the appropriate time come, he will be anointed or he would step forward to take (up) the responsibility.

The choice of the word ‘anointed’ is interesting, if one considers its various meanings:

1. To apply oil, ointment, or a similar substance to.

2. To put oil on during a religious ceremony as a sign of sanctification or consecration.

3. To choose by or as if by divine intervention.

I think we can rule out the first two definitions—though I shall take back my words if a YouTube video emerges of the Congress party rubbing oil on Rahul. (Will butter do, maam? I can imagine Khurshid asking Sonia G.) So “as if by divine intervention” it is. Who would think we’re a 21st century democracy, when we speak of the prime ministership in this manner?

PS: I wonder what Rahul himself thinks of this, given his previous statements on the subject of inner-party democracy. Sycophancy towards the Gandhi family is in the DNA of the Congress Party, and may not be something that Rahul encourages or approves of. If so, I’d love to hear him come out and say it. His family name alone makes him a likely prime minister, whether by anointment or election, and yet we know so little about his worldview. Maybe he should start blogging?

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