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Protests against Sonia’s speech on International Non-Violence Day suppressed by media

October 6, 2007

Apparently the news that there were strong protests against Sonia Gandhi, (the president of the ruling political party, Congress) speaking at the UN on the International Day of Non-Violence (inspired by Mahatma Gandhi) was more or less blacked out by the Indian media! I don’t know the exact truth of this because I could have missed the news. NDTV did report it, but there are accusations of bias. You judge. They did not mention the reasons for the protests. did report the impending protest and so did hindustan times, but no reasons were given. Anyway, this was before the protests happened. Indianews however gave the reasons as to why Sonia was selected to speak at the UN.

Inspite of reading two mainstream dailies everyday, I did not read this news. Nor did I see it on television. I found out today – via email! And then, some clips from the net.

I will copy this news here because whether anyone agrees with it or not is the question. The question is everyone should know the reasons as to why people didn’t want Sonia Gandhi to represent India on International non-violence Day.

FOR Immediate Release Date: Oct. 2, 2007

Peaceful protest rally and Fast/Vigil in New York against Sonia (Maino) Gandhi representing India on the International Day of Non-Violence
New York: The Forum for Gandhi Heritage Organization and other like-minded associations held a peaceful protest rally outside the United Nations headquarters on October 2.

About 500 people from around the US joined the protest objecting to the UN invitation to the Indian Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

The UN had declared Oct. 2 as the International Day of Non-Violence as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi represented India at the UN function.

The protesters believe that Sonia Mano Gandhi’s policies and actions are in total contradiction to what Mahatma Gandhi stood for and her surname is a misrepresentation of Gandhi’s name.

Instead of a true Gandhian delivering Mahatma Gandhi’s message of peace and non-violence, choosing Sonia Gandhi who is not a representative of Gandhian values was a mistake, (they) said.

The protesters oppose Sonia Gandhi who is not related to Mahatma Gandhi using Mahatma Gandhi’s name for political mileage and international legitimacy.

The highlight of the protest was dramatization of Mahatma Gandhi (values) being killed by Sonia Gandhi.

She and the Mahatma were in opposite ends in values such as religious tolerance, terrorism, political violence, corruption and fraud, placards held by protesters read.

A detailed booklet with documentation and proof of the allegations was distributed. For details, visit

Protesters also held a fast and vigil in front of Gandhi Statue at Union Square. About 20 people from the Forum for Gandhi heritage garlanded Mahatma Gandhi Statue and participated in the ceremony on Oct 2.

Detailed photos, videos (including high quality for TV coverage) of the protest rally and Fast/Vigil, additional documentation are available at Any inquiries can be sent to

The protest was endorsed by the Forum For Saving Gandhi Heritage comprising of the Mahatma Gandhi International Foundation, Gandhi Center and Hindu Temple, Indo Caribbean Council, Kashmiri Taskforce, Foundation of Nepalis in America & several other like-minded organizations.

Contact : Naresh: 609-226-9702, Satya: 732-939-2060.

Reasons for the protest
(NOTE: Please note that the contents below are part of NY Times Ad and went through their rigorous requirements for truth and verifiability).

Mahatma Gandhi’s life and his message of Love, Truth, Non-Violence, and Sacrifice inspired many such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Lech Walesa. The recent UN’s declaration of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday on Oct 2 as the International Non-Violence day is commendable. However, instead of a true Gandhian delivering his message of peace & non-violence, Sonia Gandhi who is not a representative of Gandhian values is chosen.

1. Sonia Maino Gandhi is NOT related to Mahatma Gandhi. She is attempting to misappropriate his name for political mileage and international legitimacy.
2. She is known to be vindictive and undemocratic. Her party uses various mechanisms such as tax raids, direct threats to subjugate opposition. (‘Know your Sonia’ by Dr. Subramanian Swamy).
3. Due to her party’s pro-terrorist policies, India has second highest number of terrorism victims after Iraq . Her Govt. is requesting clemency to Afzal Guru, the mastermind of attack on Indian parliament. In pursuit of Muslim vote banks, it created soft borders & turned a blind eye towards Islamic fundamentalism.
4. Her respect for human rights is best explained by her decision to make a prime instigator of the anti-Sikh riots (that burnt alive 3000 Sikhs) a key central government minister in India.
5. Gandhi constantly chanted name of Lord Rama and died with that name on his lips. He said, you can take away anything from me, but if you take my Rama, I will die. Sonia’s party declared in Supreme Court that Rama is mythological and therefore justifies blowing up of ancient sacred Hindu Monument Rama Sethu, thereby hurting the sentiments of 900 millions Hindus. This is similar to Taliban blowing up the Bamyan Buddhas.
6. Gandhi is an embodiment of Hinduism with deep respect for all religions. He called religious conversions the deadliest poison that lethally destroys cultures of the world. Since Sonia came to power, there is a crusade to Christianize India, at the behest of international missionary enterprises.
7. Her husband Rajiv and son Rahul are alleged to have received payments from KGB. According to Schweizer Illustrierte, Rajiv has a secret Swiss account of 2 billion dollars. Her son Rahul projected as next Prime Minister of India, was also detained by FBI with large unaccounted cash at Boston in 2001. (‘ The State Within a State’ by Yevgenia Albats, Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte 11/1991, Indo Asian News Service).
8. Her party was involved in the UN Oil for Food Scam that helped Saddam Hussein.
9. She was involved in numerous scams, scandals and controversies. Before entering India, she was an au-pair with modest means. Since then, she and her family members amassed millions through questionable means. (Researched articles with proof by Dr. Subramanian Swamy at, ‘Know Your Sonia’ by India First Foundation)

Below are same additional details of Sonia Gandhi’s actions which are in direct contradiction to what Mahatma Gandhi Stood for. (Most of these are unproved allegations, but many believe them to be true – this note added by me)
1. Corruption & Fraud: With only a high school degree and no technical skills, she started a technical services company, used her connections to get contracts and paid herself handsomely. She violated multiple laws of the country with impunity. India’s security was compromised when her family friend Quattrocchi (Q) became an agent for procuring arms and offered kickbacks worth millions of dollars. Using proximity to high places, Q brokered many questionable multi million dollar deals for the Italian company Snam Progetti. Sonia has amassed millions through trusts running in her dynasty’s names. From the time Sonia entered India, she has looted the country on a large scale.
2. Deception: Sonia claims to have a degree from Cambridge University, UK, despite not studying beyond high school. She misled the President of India about the number of parliament members supporting her party to grab power.
3. Intolerance: Gandhi envisaged the motto ‘Truth alone Triumphs’ that is printed on official documents and coins. As soon as Sonia got hold of power, it was removed from documents & was replaced in coins by an image of Cross used by Louis The Pious (778-840).
4. Violence: Sonia’s violence spans political, spiritual and physical spheres. Sonia locked the then Congress President with party goons in a toilet and declared herself Party President. Her claim for this position is that she is the wife of an ex-Prime Minister.
5. Self-Aggrandizement: Mahatma Gandhi offered to be sacrificed rather than divide India whereas Sonia is dividing India for vote banks and selfish gains. Her policies have made the country a hot bed for terrorist violence.

Now this whole thing came to me by email. I found it important enough to post. I wouldn’t have if this had been widely reported. As is evident from my blog writings, but I do not lean towards any political partly. I criticize all political parties, including the BJP and the Shiv Sena. And the Congress too. Ironically I did that just yesterday in my post on Justice denied to Sikhs. I have criticized the Shiv Sena far more than the Congress.

What concerns me are issues, and I think this is a serious issue…and as far as I see it people should know about this protest!!

Even the BJP protested, in front of the United Nations. Why should the mainstream Indian Media black out this news?? Maybe its not important!

I can understand it if the media doesn’t publish something like ‘Sonia locked the then Congress President with party goons in a toilet and declared herself Party President’ πŸ˜€

But the rest? People have a right to know. And they can decide if the protesters are morons or if they have some merit in their argument.

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46 Comments leave one →
  1. October 6, 2007 6:55 pm

    Nita: Amreekandesi’s blog had a post and some subsequent discussion where I asked some questions.


  2. October 6, 2007 7:09 pm

    well i want to know who was a better choice? Nelson Mandela….well he or Paulo Coelho…..or well i seriously don’t know are there any more people…and as for rama being mythological or not,is not the question(well ironically it is)…it is more how many people trust…

    During the next elections i want to know whom people will vote for….

  3. October 6, 2007 7:19 pm

    Yes I am aware of that post, in fact I had commented on it. However from your comment (later) I understood that you were under the impression that she was invited. She was not invited, she was selected to represent our country.
    The decision was the decision of the Indian govt, not that of the UN. In any case the UN cannot dictate who is represent the country…it is up to the country.
    And Sonia btw, IS the govt here, the PM is seen to be her stooge. Nothing moves in the country without her knowledge or approval. You can say that she has taken over Indira Gandhi’s reins.
    Is it her fault? She wanted to be the PM! Luckily it was our president Kalam (who she didn’t want second term) who told her it was unconstitutional! I don’t know understand why she doesn’t realise her limits. She may have her good points and believe me she has her following amongst the highly educated too, but a person has to know the limits.
    you are right about the voting being all wrong ofcourse, being personality and party based because of the illiiterate voter..

  4. October 6, 2007 7:20 pm

    Vishesh, Nelson Mandela is South African, he cannot represent India for a speech on nonviolence day.

  5. October 6, 2007 7:32 pm

    This post blows me away. mainstream media blocking out this is most simply censorship. Sonia Gandhi representing India on this occasion must give her great political mileage back home. G

  6. October 6, 2007 8:06 pm

    Thank you surburban. You have hit the nail on the head. Sonia speaking at the UN was broadcast live by ALL tv channels here! This has increased her prestige greatly. She is UP THERE in the eyes of the credulous.

  7. anuragsaurabh permalink
    October 6, 2007 8:08 pm

    I wish i too had a GANDHI surname!!
    Is this democracy we are proud of..and NIta on 2nd of october did we mention it was birth anniversary of a great leader LAL BAHADUR SHASTRI…
    I must say this lady has a lot of guts..President should have allowed her as it would have been political suicide for her…and end her political career…
    Two leaders must be grieving in heaven Mahatma gandhi and Jai prakash narayan…
    JP left socialist jokers like George fernandes,Sharad yadav ,Nitish kumar ,Laloo pd. yadav et al…

    and you know something AAM AADMI can’t do much except criticising….
    media prints/ broadcasts what sells….
    Can’t we do something about this ????

  8. October 6, 2007 8:30 pm

    Anurag, I wish we could. But for all you know just by writing about it I may have crossed the line!

  9. anuragsaurabh permalink
    October 6, 2007 8:54 pm

    I really appreciate your effort and i respect you a lot,as a matter of fact i sent your blog’s link to my dad.
    I am not as learned as you are, but at this tender age of 23 i have started accepting some cruel realities of life..leave everything aside, concentrate on your career…”desh duniya jaye gadde me kind of thinking”
    i feel sad about that, i always had some leftist socialist skewness, but i m trying to convert myself into hardcore capitalist… as its the only way your voice can be heard ..

    thanks Saurabh.

  10. Bharath permalink
    October 6, 2007 8:57 pm

    PM & President sleeping kya?? Both sound dumb & stupid to me.. I donno how it feels to others.

  11. October 6, 2007 9:40 pm

    I agree that the media should report the truth and should not censor or edit according to their bias. But i have no faith in any of the political parties today and i do not think that any of the so many party leaders are fit enough to define Gandhisim. But sometimes i feel that media also twists things to their advantage. I personally am neutral to Sonia Gandhi but i feel that NY times ad #5 about the ram setu has been a little twisted to blame Sonia directly and about #6, i am not sure about the evidence behind it either. I think religious conversions are more of personal choices and a non hindu can also follow Gandhisim. Gandhi was not against any religion. Yes i would be more happy if Abdul Kalam addressed UN on the occasion of Non Violence Day but i am sure non of the Indian political parties would have agreed to that.

  12. October 6, 2007 9:52 pm


    Prince Charles faced an employment discrimination lawsuit some years ago from a black assistant about whom he had allegedly said “why should she try and rise above her station”. Many non-white people in the UK did much tut-tutting about it and how non-white people were rare as gold dust in the Royal household in Britain.

    So I am a bit disappointed in your remark:

    “I don’t know understand why she doesn’t realise her limits.”

    Article 84 says “To become a member of the Lok Sabha, a person should be a citizen of India, not less than 25 years of age and possess such other qualifications as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament”.

    It does NOT mention country of birth or that naturalised citizens are expressly prohibited from being MPs or indeed PM.

    So it is NOT unconstitutional if she becomes PM. It was probably the sense in others that she was rising above her station and probably in her own case, some sense of good politics that she did not become PM .

    When we are at the receiving end of racism from a white person, we are very upset. But when we dish it out to a white or black person (this is so Oh My God territory!) we do not seem to care much. As more and more ‘foreigners’ come to work in India, some will stay just like Indian emigrants stayed in the UK, US or other parts of the world. They will gradually also want to participate in the politics of India and it is us, who will need to change our views on the matter…

    Many parts of the Indian constitution are inspired by the British unwritten one. In the UK, a naturalised citizen can be MP or PM, although without at least one British parent, he/ she cannot work in MI5/ MI6. Even so naturalised citizens are routinely security cleared for sensitive work (I know I have been).


  13. October 6, 2007 10:01 pm


    I also think that just because the woman has a surname that came to her through marriage does not mean she is out to appropriate it. If she is invited she speaks. One has to wonder why the official role holders do not push for alternatives if this is uncomfortable.

    Most of the arguments laid out by so-called protestors are quite lame.

    I have heard everything from her accent onwards being criticised. Some 1st generation migrant Indians serve as MPs in Britain and they have not lost their accent either. Nobody here considers it material enough to mention.

    And I believe they are only put out because she is white. If she was an illiterate village chicklet, she would somehow be more acceptable as a ‘representative’ to these masses protesting right now. Her grace in her widowhood and her service to her ‘sasuraal’ would have been held up as an example of Indian virtues, never mind we still treat our widows in villages like pieces of shit. To me, this woman is a better embodiment of some Indian traditional values than some born in India… Next to her I can only think of Mark Tully as a well-integrated immigrant settled in India.

    For all our ‘atithi devo bhavah’ sentiment that we espouse, we behave very badly on many matters. This is one such example.


  14. xntricpundits permalink
    October 6, 2007 10:14 pm

    Hi Nita,
    Now it’s over..pcch.they could have sent someone else ,other than Sonia Gandhi.The nation so big failed utterly to chose a single person who we could really send to UN to convey the message of MAHATMA.
    I think ,congress government saved a lot of time by sending Sonia Gandhi….sending a person with Gandhi as surname will generate better vibes for UN and party back home…That seems to the idea .
    What a person like Man Mohan Singhji [The PM]was doing…sleeping may be…wake up PM.May be the same cast with PRATHIBHAJI…


  15. October 6, 2007 10:14 pm

    Shefaly, I am afraid you are not quite right here…I am talking of her being PM. It is not constitutional. I have read this in a very authoritative place but never saved the link. She was not in her constitutional right to become PM. That was why the spat with the President.
    I will give you one link, a very knowledgable person who has written on this.
    I have no idea what you mean by ‘station. do you really think I am talking of class?? Also, a lot of people have criticized rabri devi is also criticized, she is an illiterate. She would have been flayed by the media and everyone if she had wanted to become PM!! Much much more than Sonia. Sonia at least has the name.
    However many educated intellectuals do think like you. They feel there is nothing wrong if Sonia becomes PM.
    You are entitled to your views Shefaly, but so am I to mine.
    I would bow my head down in shame if Sonia became PM, although I have nothing against her personally.

    p.s also she was not invited. She went, because she is the boss.

  16. October 6, 2007 10:38 pm

    Okay, so here are the links.

    One is this oneand it says that though technically speaking she is an indian citizen, she is not in a very strong position to claim PM-ship.
    Two, another article which again admits that she is a citizen but hugely unqualified to become PM. You can see that here.
    So basically, she doesn’t have a moral right to ‘rule’ the country which she is doing.
    I could nto find the article which I was looking for…but the name of the person is stashed away somewhere on my pc, and in that the person had clearly written that the president had threatened to withdraw her citizenship or something like that. I will look for it and post the link.
    Shefaly, I understand what you are saying, but the political realities in India are different. Its very difficult for me to explain on the internet.
    But the fact is that I am not racist, as you seem to think, nor am a Hindutva person, in fact I lean towards atheism.
    But yes I am fiercely proud of my country and will not accept someone like Sonia Gandhi as the leader of this country. She has no love for India at all.
    there are many more articles I can give you, but probably this issue will not interest you that much, as you are not living in India.
    One more link:
    on why sonia should not be PM.

  17. October 6, 2007 10:58 pm

    Hi Madhuri, unfortunately the opposition of Sonia Gandhi has taken on a religious tone. It has nothing to do with religion…I too do not agree with every pont out there…but the question does remain as to whether a person who has been behind much violence in India should have represented India for a nonviolent day protest. I am sure in any civilized country such a person would have been forced to resign. here they go to the UN! Kalam would have indeed been the right choice!

    Shefaly, I find this remark of yours quite difficult to understand:
    //To me, this woman is a better embodiment of some Indian traditional values than some born in India…//
    what does it mean?? who are we comparing Sonia too? Whoever that woman is, is she in line to become PM? I mean there are the dregs of society and all kinds of people , so what??? They are not in line for becoming PM or rulers or heads of state of in line for go to the UN!! How can you say that? Maybe Sonia is even better than some presidents of companies, but they are not wanting to rule the country! I also failed to understand the comparision with Mark Tully. Is he in politics? If he does enter, he won’t find it easy.
    I think we are a GREAT country Shefaly, because Sonia has gone so far!! Tell me one country in which this has happened!! Yes, our country is GREAT, its the others who racists, not us!!
    We are not at all behaving badly Shefaly. Its the other developed so-called democracies who behave badly. Which Indian American or Briitish Indian has ever come this close to PM-ship?
    Finally one has to talk of realities. This is the political reality…and no other country is as great in India in accepting outsiders. NO OTHER!! That too a person who has no political background, a person who didn’t even want to become an Indian citizen!!
    In fact we are fools Shefaly for being accepting and generous and giving.

    Bharath, and xntricpundits…thanks. πŸ™‚

  18. October 6, 2007 11:07 pm

    Thanks, Nita. I read the links and I am afraid besides argument that is political, they fail to refute the point that technically she can be PM. It is a matter of public acceptance of her ‘foreignness’ nothing more..

    What it will do is hurt many people’s pride but then again if it hurts them so much, they should get out and participate. Rather than organise protest marches.

    She was sent as a representative of India. May be voters should vote out such impotent MPs that represent them at the next election… Heck voters should stop falling for election dramas and get more interested in real grass roots politics if they are so affected.

    It takes nothing to talk, a lot more to act and effect change..

    You say: “There are many more articles I can give you, but probably this issue will not interest you that much, as you are not living in India.”

    I think this is unfair of you to suggest and conclude.

    Emigrants remain attached and involved in their country of birth. Good immigrants also participate actively where they go to live. The only simile I can give is the difference between a birth mother and a step mother. If the latter brings you up, you remain grateful and dutiful and even affectionate; it does nothing to prevent you from still remembering your birth mother with fondness too.

    In the UK, I work in a non-partisan way with the main political parties in the UK advising them particularly on policy issues where I feel there is a need for reform. At least one party’s manifesto pledges in the last general election contained materials that I had written… I also constantly critique things, write letters to editors which get published and write in magazines. I do all this without drawing on any benefits, while remaining a full time student and working part time on projects…

    In India I remain involved in education and business ventures. Many more will come to fruition just as soon as my PhD becomes formalised.

    Yes, it may appear to you that people living abroad probably do not care much for the politics of their country. And to echo your words, you are entitled to that opinion as much as I am entitled to my opinion – which is based on experiencing many things as an adult living independently in many countries and working across many countries too.

    I did not suggest YOU are racist. I said the opinions of the masses protesting were driven by the fact that she is not one of ‘us’ no matter how that is defined and no matter how we treat a majority of so-called ‘our own people’ If she were Indian by birth, she would have had much more credit given to her. It is after all only a matter of presentation!

    Can you fault the woman for advancing her son, rather incapable son by all accounts, and his prospects in Indian politics? Would you not do it if your ambitions were thwarted because of any reason relating to your origins that you cannot change, but if you had the power to change the course of a nation’s politics and history?

    All power to her I say and to her ambition.

    PS: As for unqualified people holding offices in India, I could start a whole new book on it but I have other priorities. Besides I am sure proud Indian citizens already know the capabilities of some of their leaders holding office.

  19. October 6, 2007 11:20 pm

    Okay so we have come down to national pride. I am not denying that at all. Sure, as an Indian I wonder why we have to have an unqualified inexperienced person in that position.
    In fact I feel it is BECAUSE she is white that people are after her, again I am not referring to you, but to people here. people here have this thing about white skin…its the opposite of racism. if she wasn’t white, she would have been in the position of rabri devi, someone who is reviled by everyone!
    Shefaly, we have had good people in these posts!! Laloo Prasaad Yadav is not becoming PM and nor is he representing India at the UN!!
    And for your information we have many capable politicians in our country!! Some within the congress party, some in the BJP and even a couple in the communist and other parties! You cannot say that we don’t have anyone better than Sonia!! Why even Renuka Chowdhury would have been better. Even that Patil, whom actually I don’t think very highly of, but at least she is better than Sonia! Oh yes, we have many young congress leaders too. why not them??? And why not Manmohan singh himself, a man I myself greatly admire?
    And you mentioned what I would feel if my ambitions were thwarted. Well, I would feel bad only if I were capable!! Merit has to win at ALL COSTS. the importance of your family is not the criteria!!
    I don’t know why you are completely ignoring the fact that Sonia is not qualified educationally at all, which SO MANY other political leaders in our country ARE. Nor does she have political experience!! Right from Nehru, to Shastri, to Vajpayee to Manmohan, we have PM’s we have respected, those who are capable, intelligent, experienced! You cannot compare her to Laloo!! I just cannot understand you Shefaly, comparing her to the illiterate!!

    As for you not being interested, I do opologize for that. I guess you are!

    p.s don’t forget that point about her holding on to her dual citizenship even at the time of her wanting to become PM!!

    And here is another link, which challenges the validity of her citizenship, here. I will quote from it here itself:

    The Supreme Court on 18 April 2007 issued notice to the Centre and the Election Commission on a petition whether a person of foreign origin could be appointed to hold a public office. A Bench headed by Chief Justice K.G.Balakrishnan sought response from the Centre on a petition…

    The RMM contented that a political party cannot be headed by a person who has assumed citizenship by registration.

    The Bench, which agreed that an important Constitutional issue has been raised in the petition, said it would confine itself to the question whether a person who is not born in the country can be appointed to a public office. (Agencies)

    Though Sonia Gandhi has been a Member of Parliament for more than 8 years, the probity, the quality of her citizenship remains unsettled, untested and vulnerable to legal and constitutional challenge. To quote the appropriate words of K N Bhat, an eminent jurist and former Additional Solicitor General of India in this context: ‘Sonia Gandhi’s ‘foreign origin’ need be of no concern; but the quality of her Indian Citizenship is a serious public issue because she is being projected as the future Prime Minister of our country. True it is that politicians remember it only when a General Election is about to be announced. But P.A.Sangma remained a notable exception. When the Constitution Review Committee appointed by the NDA Government in February 2000 refused to take up this fundamental Constitutional issue despite their having total freedom to do so, Sangma protested and resigned in protest as its Member. But apparently no one else appeared disturbed’.

    In September 2001, the Supreme Court of India in Hari Shankar Jain Vs Sonia Gandhi considered a challenge to Sonia Gandhi’s election as a Member of Parliament. The main ground raised by Hari Shankar Jain was that, Sonia being an Italian citizen did not satisfy the pre-requisites for entitlement to registration as a citizen of India. The High Court of Allahabad where Hari Shankar Jain’s election petition was originally heard, held that it had no power to deal with the challenge to Sonia’s citizenship in an election petition. When this matter was taken on appeal before the Supreme Court, the following questions were considered by the Supreme Court:

    1. Whether a plea that a returned candidate is not a citizen of India can be raised in an election petition before the High Court?

    2. Whether a plea questioning the citizenship of the returned candidate is entertainable by the High Court hearing an election petition in spite of holding a certificate of citizenship granted under Section 5(I) (c) of the Citizenship Act?

    3. Whether on the pleadings of the two election petitioners, a cause of action and a triable issue was raised, which should have been put to trial calling upon the respondent to file her return statement.

    The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Allahabad High Court and held that a Court trying election disputes had the jurisdiction to pronounce upon the validity of Certificate of Registration of Citizenship. The Supreme Court however noted that the pleadings in the particular case of Hari Shankar Jain Vs Sonia Gandhi were ‘bald, vague and baseless’. Thus the Supreme Court missed the opportunity of settling this issue of Sonia’s politically and constitutionally controversial citizenship once for all. But unfortunately for the nation and its future survival, the issue of Sonia Gandhi’s eligibility to be an MP was neither approved, nor disapproved. Moreover, in fact, the most crucial and relevant question of whether a foreign citizen, politically wangling to become a citizen by registration, is eligible to be a Member of Parliament, was not considered by the Supreme Court.

    The Citizenship Act of 1955 enumerated the following 6 distinct types of Indian citizens:

    1. Citizenship by birth.

    2. Citizenship by descent.

    3. Citizenship by registration.

    4. Citizenship by naturalization.

    5. Citizenship by incorporation of territory.

    6. citizenship Rights conferred on the basis of reciprocity.

    The first 2 categories above were envisaged by the Constitution at the inception. 5th category is only a logical consequence of the expansion of the territory of India – for example, incorporation of Sikkim as Indian Territory and consequently former citizens of the kingdom becoming citizens of India. Categories 3, 4 and 6 were created by the Parliament in 1955. The Assam Accord resulted in the addition of another group to the ranks of Indian Citizens with effect from December 7, 1985. The recent Citizenship (Amendment Act) of 2004 has created another class known as ‘Overseas Citizens’. It enables the Central Government to register persons of Indian origin and citizens of 16 specified countries as ‘Overseas Citizens’.

    Registration is granted on application and is restricted to 5 specific categories only. We are concerned with ‘persons who are or have been married to citizens of India and are ordinarily resident in India and have been so resident for 5 years immediately before making an application for registration’. The Citizenship Act of 1955 provides for deprivation of citizenship of specified categories of citizens, viz: those by naturalization and some categories of the ones by registration. And this can be done by an order of the Executive. Sonia Gandhi belongs to this category of citizenship by registration. It will be clear that her’s is the type of citizenship that can be cancelled at any time by an Executive order if the Government so consider it as necessary and expedient in the larger public interest of national security or national survival or other overriding factors. It has been widely reported that Sonia Gandhi continues to retain her Italian Citizenship in addition to her Indian Citizenship by registration under Section 5 of the Indian Citizenship Act of 1955. The expression ‘adherence to a foreign state’ occurs in Article 102(d) of our Constitution. According to legal experts, ‘right in a foreign state’ would amount to ‘adherence to a foreign state’. Sonia, who enjoys dual citizenship or entitled to be a citizen of another country as a matter of right, legally comes under the category of ‘adherence to a foreign state’. Sonia is not a citizen only of India; she just happens to be by registration a citizen also of India.

    In my considered view, any foreigner who has obtained his Citizenship by registration, is debarred from holding any Constitutional office in India for the following reasons:

    a. As a temporary citizen by registration he/she can be removed by an Executive order. We can ill-afford to have a foreigner as Prime Minister or President whose temporary citizenship can be cancelled by a District Collector or Magistrate at a moment’s notice.

    b. All the major democracies in the world, particularly having Presidential form of Government have prescribed Natural Citizen born qualification for the highest Constitutional Offices.

    c. The celebrated jurist and former judge of the US Supreme Court, Joseph Story in his monumental commentaries on the Constitution of United States says: ‘But the general propriety of the exclusion of foreigners in common cases, will scarcely be doubted by any sound statesman. It cuts off all chances for ambitious foreigners, who might otherwise be intriguing for the office: and interposes a barrier against those corrupt interference of foreign governments in Executive Elections, which have inflicted the most serious evils upon the elective monarchies of Europe, Germany, and even the Pontificate of Rome, are sad but instructive examples of the enduring mischiefs from the source’. Many attempts to amend the US Constitution to remove the ‘Natural Citizen’ qualification have failed and well known public figures like Henry Kissinger and Madeline Albright have thus been ruled out of consideration for the highest office of US President.

    The current legal position obviously provides unlimited space for mischief for international criminals where even persons with ‘conditional’ citizenship can head the Government or occupy other constitutional offices. This loophole needs to be plugged once for all at the earliest through a simple amendment of Citizenship Act of 1955, which makes certain public offices out of bounds for ‘conditional’ citizens like Sonia Gandhi.

  20. amreekandesi permalink
    October 7, 2007 1:18 am

    Great job with this post Nita.

    Our media beats me. And i hate saying that they are playing a very negative role in the country. The media is extremely biased and the news reporting is not as objective as it should be.

    Its almost as if they are out to promote the ‘secular’ (as they keep declaring) parties. I am not pro any party. I am all for a healthy debate, a progressive attitude, a constructive criticism, and a balanced news coverage, which does not seem to be happening. This incident is the perfect example. Even the few sites that reported the protests really tried to downplay them.

  21. P. Saxena permalink
    October 7, 2007 1:29 am

    funny stuff

    Secondly i dont see why u have to explain urself ???
    if anyone has read ur blog enough he has a fair idea of how u write

    do u know the concept of press syndication? as in the iraq war? Most press need the govt on their side, they need to get foreign funds and tie-ups which need clearances from the govt – plus there is govt add spend – someone has filed a pil on that issue too.

    hindu and ndtv are pro commi first then pro congress

    hindustan times is unofficial congress mouthpiece if i have heard from most rightist blogs

    This is a world of syndication and bias
    BBC is pro Uk and Us and pak
    Al Jazeera pro Arab
    CNN pro Us and Pak
    DWTV pro Deutcheland
    FRANCE 24 pro France

    i prefer the last cause their bias is towards France and biased reporting is limited to French territories like Algeria thus giving a better clearer view of the world.
    did u also know that there was more reporting done on the bihar floods and the hunta takeover of burma by france 24?
    than our local channels ???

    common bloggers like us took to the issue first including ini and others the press woke up a whole week later …

    News and real news is these days in blogs!

    have u seen aaj tak lately at primetime
    it seems like the pt Barnum show more than the news channel it is reputed to be

  22. P. Saxena permalink
    October 7, 2007 1:56 am

    interesting duel between u n shefali

    ur right about fair skin nita there is so much bias
    when i had gone to kerala and man i experienced it first hand that too from a pitch coal dark communist boat driver !

    //To me, this woman is a better embodiment of some Indian traditional values than some born in India…//

    this stumped me. Wearing a khadi sari and speaking broken hindi makes her fit the bill?

    Seems shefaly hasn’t really done a background check on the madam — i would prefer her frank though slightly nuts down to earth animal lover sister in law – nytime she kinda fits the bill way better
    yes im talking about Maneka Gandhi.

    her khadi sari seems to be custom made
    i have chkd out khadi bhandar and havent come across anything so refined
    Sudden transformations scare me !
    Compare her to her young days same face same look nothin changed except western wear replaced by the sari
    funny a google search turned up yet another plastic faced Italian β€” Monica Bellucci !!

  23. October 7, 2007 2:10 am

    u were talking about misappropriation
    chk this out they are the family line of gandhis!
    and guess who is awkwardly pasted in the middle?

  24. Ram permalink
    October 7, 2007 2:17 am

    do u remember the incident of theft in the pm mans airline by some senior purser
    guess what was stolen expensive gifts for the accompanying press crew who in india tend to ride with the PM for free

  25. October 7, 2007 7:55 am

    Thanks P. You have pointed out the biases pretty well…! And I tend to agree. Each media leans towards something or the other. We only survive by reading other stuff, some media which thinks in the opposite direction.
    Actually I too would prefer the firebrand Maneka to Sonia, even though I feel that Maneka may not be the right choice as the PM. She is educated for one thing and feels strongly about issues that concern our nation like animal rights and environment. I really think she is a better specimen of womanhood and widowhood than Sonia. Because I see her as honest, if a little over the top. Besides as you said, while maneka is the same, Sonia’s has taken on a completely new avatar!! Yes these sudden transformations scare me too. Its clear that Sonia is not what she projects. That I think even her chamcha’s know.

    Amreekdesi, thanks. Threre is no doubt that the media did this deliberately at the behest of the Congress. That stinks doesn’t it!

  26. October 7, 2007 8:25 am

    @ Shefaly

    Yes, it may appear to you that people living abroad probably do not care much for the politics of their country.

    I do not agree. All and i am saying ALL my Indian friends who are here, irrespective of looking for jobs to go back to India or having permanent US residentships, take a very active interest in the political situation back in India.

    Actually Madhuri, it was me who thought that. Sorry, i guess living in India one tends to feel that way. Guess I was wrong. No offense meant! – Nita.

  27. October 7, 2007 9:03 am

    What amazes me about the Indian media is that sometimes they just print such blatant false reports that do not concur with any of the news from reputed organizations like Reuters or AP. Especially the anti Pakistani ones. They come up with things like US has confirmed that Pak is harboring talibans (off course without any kind of evidence to support this claim). Surprisingly none of the American news media had even a single line to this confirmation. This news was reported on our Independence day last August. Why? Dont we have enough problems at home rather than to channel it towards hatred for outsiders? Will we become more patriotic if we feel anti some other country whose people are in all probability also misled like us? Anyway this is just an instance how the press can become a toy under any given regime.
    About Sonia becoming prime minister, i feel first we have to abolish this legacy of someone coming to power just because they were married to or somehow are related to by blood or name to an ex leader. Not only in cases of leadership but i do find it wrong for people to get the jobs of their deceased relations which is even now carried on in India. It just cuts out people who deserve to come to the forefront.

  28. October 7, 2007 9:41 am

    If Sonia Gandhi had been from Africa or not white, everyone would have forgotten about her by now. And, from what I’ve read, I do think that she would have a conflict of interest. What if there was a security matter that involved India and Italy? Whom would she favor? What if she was from Pakistan instead of Italy? Would the Congress politicians still run after her? I live in the US, but I still feel passionately about India. It’s not that easy to let go of one’s feelings about one’s birth-country in most cases (exception of spies who are driven by ideology). Also, a person who was born and has grown up in India knows much more about Indian culture, psychology, people just through osmosis than a foreigner ever can.

    And, one instance where someone (slightly different situation, but along the same lines as Sonia) did head a country (Peru), it’s well known how that turned out.

    So, nay to Sonia (or any foreign-born being head-of-state). πŸ™‚

  29. Bharath permalink
    October 7, 2007 10:32 am

    It would have been fair if she would have represented after becoming Prime minister or President of This country..

    From the past election we have noticed – many who voted Congress party were those who were willing to make her as prime minister.. n That’s Ok I guess..

    But I hate that Back door politics.. n acting…she is acting stronger than PM or President.. I think we have been made fool here.. 😦 It’s just a LABEL she does not have!

  30. October 7, 2007 11:15 am

    P, I was shocked to see that photo!!! My mouth just fell open! Please all of you, you must see it…deception at its best!!

    Amit, you said it!! If she was african, she would have been relegated to the background! I never quite thought of it that way, but yes, we have a love for white skin out here, a hangover of the British days.
    And I will give you another example, of Fiji. You know what happened to the guy there. It was really sad…so its not in the best interests even of those who are qualified for the job in every way. The realities of life have to be taken into account. And the reality is that no country is able to accept a foreigner as the head of state. Its a human thing.

    Bharath, she is the congress president, so in that sense she has a right to go. but only if she as a person was qualified to. but ofcourse if she was the PM/Pres, then she would have an absolute right and no one could question her! I guess…!

  31. October 7, 2007 11:18 am

    It’s sad how we allowed such an important occasion to be used by congress to Launch Rahul and Sonia to the international stage. How was this allowed? This shows Manmohan Singh is nothing but a puppet prime minister. Shame on Sonia… Shame on Congress. Congress is nothing more than a bunch of spineless Psychophants!

  32. October 7, 2007 2:25 pm

    somehow in this whole melange we missed out the birthday of late Lal bahadur Shastri ! shows govts priorities

    i saw this interview with his son on some dd channel
    we should have sent Lal bahadurs son instead he would have fit the bill!

  33. October 8, 2007 2:45 pm

    Phew…my neck is straining after the ladies final wimbledon match in the comments! πŸ˜€

    They should’ve sent Patil to the UN. Given her propensity for the occult, she would’ve established a communication channel with the real Gandhi so he could himself have addressed the UN! πŸ™‚

  34. October 8, 2007 3:11 pm

    Hey guys whats this, words like duel (from P), wimbledon match etc…I thought it was a healthy discussion. I was in fact glad that Shefaly brought up all those points, because it forced me to research more! Now anyone who comes has something additional to read. A lot of people don’t comment, even if they read the post, and if they have any doubts, I hope the comment section will clear those up.
    Thats why I am always ready for a healthy discussion, it clarifies stuff for the reader. For me, my reader is paramount, whether he comments or not.

  35. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    October 8, 2007 3:31 pm

    Vishal Agarwal,

    Typo or intentional, I like the word “psychophants”.

  36. October 8, 2007 5:32 pm

    Sorry to disappoint many of the readers, who are enjoying this with a dose of schadenfreude.

    This is no duel. This is a point where we – Nita and I – happen to disagree on some points, I emphasise _SOME_ because it may appear otherwise to some here. We have known each other only in the blogosphere but we read other’s writing and broadly understand each other’s perspectives.

    Also I could not return earlier to agree on some points with Nita – notably on Sonia’s lack of formal college education. However I should add that there is no proof that Rajiv Gandhi ever finished his degree in Cambridge; or any details whatsoever of what Zail Singh accomplished in the name of education. I am all for restoring pride of accomplishment and appropriate ‘garima’ to the offices of the PM and the President of India. Whatever made Pratibha Patil the President after Kalam I do not know… Perhaps I should not care to know since Nita pointed out some details may not interest me as I happen to reside outside India! BTW some of the most educated office holders in India are proving to be most impotent too. I wonder why? Analysis paralysis or the simple ability to play a game that is less straight-forward than writing academic papers? And a game at which Sonia Gandhi seems to be gaining mastery by the day…

    This is no duel but unwittingly this is a place for some male commentators to demonstrate their hypocritical view of the world. When men disagree, it is called a discussion; when two women disagree, it is referred to as a duel/ ladies’ final at Wimbledon and so on. Tut tut!

    Amit mentions the white skin thing. Much as I understand that in some circles (Nita called them “intellectuals”, a term which I do not consider an insult) colonial hangover remains, the answer does not lie in swinging the pendulum to the other extreme. As mentioned in one of my comments, as more and more foreigners come to reside in India, some will stay and some will want to participate in politics actively. Considering – with the exception of becoming the President in the US – most of the developed nations, a club that India now almost belongs to – allow foreigners to participate in active politics, perhaps we will need to examine whether our paranoia from the Raj – that foreigners always only come to take and rule – is going to hinder us somewhere.

    As I mentioned in another comment, I have never experienced any limitations in political participation, although I am visibly and audibly a “foreigner” in the UK.

    Last but not the least, although the blogosphere is abuzz, this whole thing clearly does not bother people enough to get off their backsides and DO something. Like get out and campaign? Like file a PIL? Like join active politics? When something bothers me, I get up and do something such as in some areas of policy reform.

    What kind of democracy is this then? All talk and no trousers?

    Nita – thanks. I did not get around to the PC yesterday and am writing the drafts since early hours today.


  37. October 8, 2007 5:34 pm

    Nita: Correction request please – a simple INABILITY to play instead of ABILITY to play… Thanks.

  38. October 8, 2007 5:59 pm

    Nita, Shefaly: Come on, I was joking!

    The fact that I ‘strained my neck’ implies that I took the pains to read your enlightened comments! I wouldn’t have done so if it was not a healthy discussion!

    Unlike me, you’re not joking when you’re bringing unsubstantiated accusations of schadenfreude and gender roles into the picture. Please, it was just a joke, don’t make artificial issues out of it.

  39. October 8, 2007 6:07 pm


    Did you see someone else called it a feud first?

    I would say the same thing about you as I did about Nita – we know each other through blogs and writings; and like each other’s work. My tut-tut was meant as a tongue-in-cheek comment too. Quid pro quo, no? πŸ˜‰

    The internet needs to evolve pdq so we can convey emotions with our comments too..

    Thanks and my apology as I can see you are upset.

  40. October 8, 2007 6:38 pm

    Shefaly: I saw ‘duel’, not ‘feud’?! πŸ™‚

    No apologies needed…yes, one of the challenges of this medium is transcending its limitations. Knowing each other for some time helps, like you pointed out!

    Thanks, and I too apologize for not ‘getting’ the tongue-in-cheek comment.

    Nita: apologies to you for this off-topic commentary!

    Please resume your discussion. It is quite interesting. Seriously, these things are never discussed in print or mainstream media, so its very worthwhile.

  41. October 8, 2007 6:46 pm


    Mea culpa. I had duel in mind but wrote feud. Haha!


  42. October 8, 2007 7:36 pm

    Interesting to read the er…discussion between you and Mahendra, Shefaly!
    Actually I quite agree with the gender thing you mentioned (at the risk of upsetting Mahendra) but I am sure Mahendra didn’t mean it. πŸ˜‰
    We forgive you Mahendra even if you didn’t mean it that way. πŸ˜€ And you don’t have to opologize. P also pitched in before you and probably planted a suggestion in your mind.
    Shefaly, thanks for that addition. Yes, you are right, although we have disagree on some points, I think its only because there were a couple of things you were not aware (happens to me all the time!)…our values remain the same. Our thinking is similar. In fact I seem to agree with Shefaly on most things…and as you know Mahendra I agree with you on fewer issues, as the…er one ‘discussion’ on your blog might have pointed out to you.
    I am sure there too Shefaly might agree with me.
    Shefaly, now I think Mahendra will be fuming…
    hey Mahendra, just joking!

  43. Bharath permalink
    October 8, 2007 10:54 pm

    oh! Finally.. I could see this tragedy news on Times Now today.

    BTW, It’s sad to see some unwanted n unexpected comments on this serious post.

  44. October 9, 2007 1:40 am

    Following is full page advt published on Oct 6th NYTimes, Saturday newspaper by several patriotic Indian Organizations on Sonia representing Mahatma Gandhi on UN Peace day

  45. October 9, 2007 10:27 am

    Bharath, perhaps someone from the timesgroup saw my post on this subject and thats why the news on timesnow on this subject! πŸ˜€ just joking!
    yesterday btw I saw an article on drunk driving very similar to the one I wrote on my blog a few days ago. on blood alcohol content etc. It could be a simple coincidence! πŸ˜‰

  46. Bharath permalink
    October 9, 2007 11:18 am

    Seriously.. I feel someone is following your blog.. πŸ™‚ and they did mentioned about blogs in the news.. and I was searching for yours blog snapshot.. he he

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