Tuesday, December 30, 2008

First Families

The two lands over which India and Pakistan have fought wars just held elections. It seems that Jammu & Kashmir will be led by Omar Abdullah, grandson of Sheikh Abdullah; and Bangladesh by Sheikh Hasina, daughter of Mujibur Rahman. India's largest party, meanwhile, is headed by Sonia Gandhi, daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi and widow of Rajiv Gandhi. Pakistan's current president, Asif Ali Zardari, is the son-in-law of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and widower of Benazir Bhutto.
The intertwined story of the four families -- Nehru-Gandhis, Bhuttos, Abdullahs and Rahmans -- is packed with visionaries and dupes, courage and cowardice, idealism and cynical manipulation, liberation and genocide, betrayals and reconciliations, power, fortune, fame, imprisonment, exile and assassination.
History as soap opera.


Ketan said...

Very true!
Unfortunately, this soap opera is played outside the TV sets, and is allowed to run by the viewers!

Anonymous said...

Hi Girish,
That post has piqued my curiosity.
Are you aware of any books on south-asian politics where I get to read about these four families in greater detail?

Do let us know.

Keep writing! :)


Girish Shahane said...

I think there's a book waiting to be written about these political dynasties, Chandratrey. Right now one needs to read about them separately and then piece the connections together.