Verdict 2004 was undoubtedly a fractured one but it was perfectly indicative of the people’s judgment. Firstly, it rejected National Democratic Alliance led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee by reducing the alliance to a minority in the parliament. Secondly, the Government’s claim symbolized by India shining campaign about the growth and development of the country was dismissed. Thirdly, the emergence of Sonia Gandhi led congress as the single largest party made it clear that Indian masses had rejected the campaign against her on the basis of her foreign origin indicating further that they do not feel anything wrong in her having the constitutional office. Sonia Gandhi was born to her Italian parents in Ovassanjo near Turin in Italy in the year 1946 and was named nee Maino.
She became the best choice of Rajeev Gandhi, who haled from the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, the best known family of India. They were married in 1968. After the tragic death of her husband Sonia led a life of recluse for more than six year. But congressmen looking for a charismatic personality to lead the party ultimately succeed to bring her into active politics and she became the president of All India Congress, incidentally fifth from the Nehru family, other four being Mr.Moti Lal Nehru, Jawhar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajeev Gandhi. In no time she became dual chief of the Indian National Congress party and its parliamentary party and thus emulated her husband, her Mother-in-law, Grandfather-in-law, Rajeev, Indira and Nehru who all held the two posts during their career.
Grand performance and miraculous achievement by the congress party were the result of Herculian efforts of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi in the Election campaigning. Having witnessed the tragic death of her brother-in-law Sanjay Gandhi in plane crash followed by hondurous murder of her mother-in-law Mrs. Indira Gandhi and then loss of her husband Rajeev Gandhi and after a democracy of a decade she stepped forward to handle the reins of congress party. Her Road shows extending over every nook and corner of the country from Shri Nagar to Kanya Kumari, from Kutch to Assam rejuvenated the congress party which was on the verge of extinction. Her efforts accompanied by her diplomatic moves to form pre-poll alliances steered her way to a comfortable majority in the Lok Sabha. With the spirit of the aforesaid messages, leaders of 19 non-N.D.A parties gathered at 10, Janpath, the residence of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi on the evening of May 16, 2004 and unanimously elected her their leader and asked her to form Government.
Cumulatively, the parties that represented at the said metting accounted for 322 M.Ps. far above the required magic number of 272 needed for simple majority. This was the outcome of the flexibility which she has shown in forging alliances and accommodating different parties throughout the Campaign. With promises of support from other parties the support for Sonia Gandhi led Govt. was bound to be in the range of 350, approximately two thirds majority.
But a silent and dramatic revolution was in awaited for the country. India masses who were forced by the political scenario during the last decades equate policies with greed and governance with graft witnessed a unique selfless act of renunciation by the leading politician of the day accompanies by ascension to the office of Prime Minister of the most squeak clean person ever to have entered into the political arena.
By refusing the Prime Minister’s chair Mrs. Sonia Gandhi has shown the nation that she is the true successor of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and that she has acquired the sprit of patriotism of which her father-in-law Feroz Gandhi and her grand father-in law Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru both are outstanding examples in the history of freedom movement of India. The impact of this silent revolution can be easily seen. Pre-poll allies of the congress have sunk their difference and reservation and backed Sonia Gandhi. They did sop first to accept her as their Prime Minister and again to accept her choice of Dr. Man Mohan Singh in her place.
The issue of Indian origin or Italian origin also seems to have been settled for ever. Sonia Gandhi has proved beyond all doubts that one does not become INDIAN solely by birth. Indianness can be earned and acquired by following Indian culture and traditions. It needs love and selfless commitment and the strength of will to put the interest of the country above one’s own. Sonia Gandhi’s renunciation and self denial has left the opposition without any agenda. Sonia Gandhi’s unprecedented move has touched India and more so Hindu India at a much deeper level because the ideals of selfness and renunciation that guided her action are embedded in the core of Hindu religion.
The ideal of renunciation was deeply embedded in Shri Rama’s renunciation of the throne of Ayodhya in order to let his father keep his promise given to his step mother and in turn the sacrifice of Bharat for his brother Rama by not accepting the throne left for him. Gautam Budh was another prince who gave up the throne and raised to the status of divine saint. Mahatama Gandhi is worshiped as father of the nation on account of renunciation. He never held any office nor did he ever exercise his power. Renunciation underlies the concept of Saryas.
Sonia Gandhi announced in the Central Hall of Parliament that in obeyance of the dictates of her inner voice (conscience) she was not accepting the leadership of the house. Thus, by following the dictates of her conscience Sonia Gandhi, knowingly or unknowing has shown her faith in one of the strongest pillars of Hinduism i.e. renunciation. By doing so she has also exposed the hollowness of the intolerance of her opponents who were advocating about her foreign origin. By a single historic action Sonia Gandhi has reminded the Indian masses where the true strength of religion as past of humanity’s survival for a common goal. And finally we may be witnessing the birth of a super star on our political horizon which we have not seen since the first Mrs. Gandhi was gunned down by her own body guard.