Sonia Gandhi's Refusal of Top Post Is Lauded

Catholic Observers Say Power Didn’t Attract Her

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

BOMBAY, India, MAY 19, 2004 ( Sonia Gandhi’s surprise decision to refuse the Prime Minister position was hailed by Catholic observers who said the trappings of power didn’t attract her.

«Instead, her spirit of service was displayed with clarity through her renunciation,» Abbot Rocky D’Souza, of St. Norbert’s Abbey, in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, told AsiaNews in an interview.

«Given the diversity of Indian ethos, her decision to step aside from the limelight is a wise one,» the abbot said.

He praised the eleventh-hour timing of her decision, so as not to dishearten the party workers before the recent elections. Those elections gave the Congress Party an upset victory over the Hindu nationalist-led government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Now, Abbot D’Souza thinks that the Italian-born Gandhi, as president of the Congress Party, will wield much more power, being respected even by her most vehement political opponents.

The editor of the Bombay Archdiocesan weekly Examiner, Father Anthony Charangat, stopped the press to recall his editorial about to be published on Gandhi as Prime Minister. The «Sacrifice of the Lady» will be the new theme of his updated article, lauding Gandhi’s disinterest in power and prestige.

The editor-priest has followed Gandhi’s career, as she almost single-handedly led the Congress Party’s campaign, addressing 54 rallies and making stops across the country addressing issues of fundamentalism, drought and unemployment.

«She shrewdly forged pre-poll alliances, evidence of her astute leadership. Even her allies acknowledged her greatness and the magnitude of her service,» Father Charangat said.

The priest also saw another factor behind the decision. «Sonia is fully aware that extremism and intolerance in the country could result in violence and death. She did not wish to repeat history and wanted to avoid another tragedy in the family,» he said.

The Congress Party’s new choice for Prime Minister is 71-year-old Manmohan Singh, a political veteran and economic reformer who had success in the early 1990s as the financial minister, saving the country from near economic collapse.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation