Once the centre of everything, Antonia Maino (aka Sonia Gandhi) is struggling for attention today. So much so that she had to make a poll gimmick out of a genuine act by the Prime Minister!
Indira Priyadarshini Nehru (Indira Gandhi) had spent a majority of his life in Anand Bhavan at Allahabad, UP. It was Indira’s 99th birthday & daughter in law Sonia Gandhi at Allahabad. She was there to cut the ribbon of a memorial in Indira’s memory.
Then, she started giving a speech. Midway through, Sonia suddenly stopped and covered her head. Like this:After a few seconds, the gathering realised that she had stopped because the evening prayer (Azaan) had started in a nearby mosque. UP goes in to assembly elections early next year.
Almost all surveys have predicted a distant fourth spot for the Congress. Such an act can be seen as a subtle minority appeasement – a classic Congress card. Further, UP has a Muslim population close to 20%. This is probably why Sonia had to participate in such a publicity stunt.
The media went on a roll. Several media houses covered it with visible enthusiasm. Though there were many news reports, we will only share one link. The remaining media houses picked this piece of news up & reported it instantly; each colouring it in different shades depending on the level of their allegiance to 10, Janpath.
Sonia Gandhi pauses during a speech as 'Azaan' is heard in the background pic.twitter.com/OTHRztFrzG
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 21, 2016
However, this is not something unprecedented. This was, in fact, a gesture shown by PM Modi over 8 months ago. A simple Google search of “Narendra Modi Azaan” will take you back to February. The Prime Minister had paused his speech in a similar incident. Here is a video:
Stark Difference between Modi and fake Gandhi
Though Sonia might have copied Modi to appear “secular”, but there was visible difference.
- PM Modi had merely stopped talking to allow the Mosque’s loudspeaker some airtime. In stark contrast, Sonia had covered her head despite being Christian – a clear sign of minority appeasement politics.
- Not only did PM Modi stop talking, he also signalled the crowd to remain silent. However, there was a commotion when Sonia stopped talking and Congress leaders seemed to cheered her. Madam seemed pretty pleased with this.
- Another important fact worth paying attention to is the publicity. Sonia’s “respectful gesture” was covered extensively by the mainstream media. On the other hand, the above video of PM Modi is only available only on Youtube.
- Finally, while PM Modi humbly said that “our” gathering should not disturb someone’s prayer; On the contrary, Signora Gandhi had started off with her usual rhetoric; such as “Indira Gandhi taught us these cultures, values, etc.”
It is rather funny that though Sonia Gandhi copied PM Modi, but she could not pull it off with half as much grace! Some senior Congress leaders attended the event. Priyanka & Pappu were also present.
Nice try, Signora! This is the closest that you will ever come to feeling like the Prime Minster of India. And you really thought we wouldn’t notice, did you?