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March 20th, 2009


By suhel_seth on Mar. 20th, 2009

It would ideally be logical to assume that a country of India’s size and economic inequalities, development and social upliftment would be the ideal planks for winning an election, but sadly, things have not changed very much and hate is still widely believed to be a huge driver of votes. Or at least of media attention, which is why, it was not surprising for Jawaharlal Nehru’s great grandson, Varun Gandhi to spew venom against the Muslims in an election speech. It has put him in the spotlight; has created the kind of media frenzy that this Gandhi would have never imagined and placed him on a pedestal which is both communal on the one hand and right-wing on the other.

Sadly, in all this melee of hate-speeches, Varun forgot, in a country such as India where names often suggest religion and caste, how will he ever dump his middle name: Feroze: the name of his grandmother, Indira Gandhi’s husband. So was it a case of distancing himself from the suggestiveness of the word Feroze or was it to curry favour with the not so fringe communal elements that come to the fore in any Indian election. And that is the nub of the issue.

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