evolution are a matter of religion and politics, not ..
Despite her shyness, and the fact that most politicians, diplomats and journalists viewed her only as Nehru's daughter, Mrs. Gandhi felt almost obligated to play a political role in India. ''She knew that politics was something she could not escape,'' a friend said in 1966, when Mrs. Gandhi first became Prime Minister. ''As a Nehru, she felt it was her destiny. She feels her background gives her a mission she must carry out.''
Misuse of Religion in Politics.
In July 1979 Prime Minister Desai resigned. Repeating her brilliant 1969 divide-and-conquer victory, Mrs. Gandhi threw her vital support behind Mr. Singh, another man she had once had thrown into prison, as Mr. Desai's successor. At about the same time, a survey showed her to be the single most popular political figure in India's major cities.
''I don't want to be in power,'' she said in an interview just before the elections, going on to contradict herself by hinting strongly that she had been running things all along: ''Maybe (the Janata Party) made Government policy, but I was at the center of Indian politics. I was the main issue of discussion at every Cabinet meeting.'' And when the returns were in, she said that victory had been won ''entirely on my name.''
of thinking about religion and politics…
As her father's confidante and companion, Mrs. Gandhi traveled at his side abroad and at home and became a familiar, if somewhat diffident, figure to millions of Indians. Her first step toward national stature was in 1955, when she was elected to the 21- member Congress Party working committee. It was a small step, and she remained withdrawn and self- conscious, but it marked her first move toward an independent political identity.
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''Nobody wanted that marriage, nobody,'' she recalled many years later. Mr. Gandhi was of a different religion; she was a Hindu, he was a Parsee, which meant that ''the whole of India was against us.'' But she and Feroze Gandhi were married in March 1942. By September of that year, they were both sent to prison by the British. In fact, the only real domestic period of their troubled marriage was between 1943 and 1946, when they lived in relative quiet in Allahabad. A son, Ranjiv, was born in 1944, and another, Sanjay, in 1946.
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During her 11 months as president, she began to display toughness and political assertiveness. She was influential in the ouster of the Communist government in the southern state of Kerala. Six months later, in state elections, she shocked many moderate supporters when she successfully allied Congress with the Muslim League, a sectarian group abhorred by Congress's leaders.
The Postmodern Misuse of Tolerance - Quillette
''My public life started at the age of 3,'' she said. ''I have no recollection of games, children's parties or playing with other children. My favorite occupation as a very small child was to deliver thunderous speeches to the servants, standing on a high table. All my games were political ones - I was, like Joan of Arc, perpetually being burned at the stake.
The Postmodern Misuse of Tolerance
''Every position has advantages and disadvantages,'' she once observed. ''I had an advantage because of the education my father gave me and the opportunities of meeting some great people, not only politicians, but also writers, artists and so on. But in politics one has to work doubly hard to show one is not merely a daughter but is also a person in her own right.''