London Olympic Games 2012

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rahul Gandhi Sonia Gandhi PM Manmohan Singh pay their respects at Shakti Stahl the memorial for former PM Indira Gandhi

Member of Parliament and Congress Party General Secretary Rahul Gandhi pays his respects at Shakti Stahl, the memorial for former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on the 25th anniversary of her death in New Delhi.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Member of Parliament and All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Rahul Gandhi and Congress Party President and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi pay their respects at Shakti Stahl, the memorial for former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

President of the All India Congress Party and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi with her son and All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Rahul Gandhi pay their respects at Shakti Stahl, New Delhi.
Rahul Gandhi Sonia Gandhi PM Manmohan Singh pay their respects at Shakti Stahl the memorial for former PM Indira Gandhi

Friday, October 30, 2009

25 years later A tribute to Indira Gandhi

It has been 25 years since prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated on Oct 31, 1984. Events of those days are still fresh in memory. Worshipped by her supporters and cursed by her enemies, who later assassinated her, Indira Gandhi paved the way for democracy in India during the twentieth century.

She was cremated on 3 November near Raj Ghat. (AFP Photo

On 31 October 1984, two of Gandhi's bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, assassinated Indira Gandhi with their service weapons in the garden of the Prime Minister's Residence at No. 1, Safdarjung Road in New Delhi. (AFP Photo)

After her father's death in 1964, Indira was appointed as a member of the Rajya Sabha by the President of India and became a member of the Cabinet as Minister of Information and Broadcasting. In January 1966, when Lal Bahadur Shastri died, Gandhi was elected leader of the Congress Party in Parliament and became the third prime minister of independent India. (AFP Photo)

Gandhi assumed office at a very critical time in the history of India. She inherited a nation still demoralised after its defeat in the 1962 war with China, a party with an ongoing struggle for power and?a country caught in the midst of drought and a deepening economic crisis. With courage, Indira Gandhi took on the challenge of helping the nation tide over the crisis. (AFP Photo)

Through the glorious chapters of history, we bring you pictures that bear testimony to?the global icon and woman of substance, Indira Gandhi. (AFP Photo)

Born in the politically influential Nehru family, Indira grew up in an extremely charged political atmosphere. Her grandfather, Motilal Nehru, was a prominent Indian nationalist leader. Her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, was a pivotal figure in the Indian independence movement and the first Prime Minister of Independent India. (AFP Photo)

Young Indira studied at the Oxford and returned to India 1941.?She soon became involved in the Indian Independence movement. In the 1950s, she served her father as a personal assistant during his tenure as the first Prime Minister of India. Throughout this period, Indira focused on social welfare. (AFP Photo)

In the fourth general elections of 1967 the Congress retained majority control? and re-elected Gandhi as its leader. She was the Prime Minister during the decisive victory in the 1971 war with Pakistan. (AFP Photo)

New Delhi: It was Oct 31, 1984, a day like any other with R.K. Dhawan, Indira Gandhi's special assistant, arriving at 1, Safdarjung Road at 8 a.m. to find the prime minister getting her famous tresses - with the distinctive streak of white rising from the centre - trimmed for a television interview.

''She gave me a set of instructions of how she had to receive the president (Zail Singh) who was returning from a trip abroad and a dinner she was to host for a foreign dignitary that evening. She wanted to ensure there was no clash in timings,'' recounts Dhawan, now 72, often referred to as her factotum, confidant and shadow all rolled into one, and who was associated with her for 22 uninterrupted years.

Text: IANS
Images: AFP
Image: A photo dated 24 January 1976 of Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India in 1974.

After the perfunctory briefing, Dhawan, remembered in political circles as one who wielded unparallelled power like no secretary to the Congress chief has, retired to his room.

All public appointments at the adjoining thick-walled white bungalow in Akbar Road, used for her official engagements, had been cancelled as Gandhi had arrived late from Orissa the previous evening. Only a television interview with two- time Academy award-winning film actor and journalist, Peter Ustinov, was scheduled.

Image: In this picture taken on March 21,1977, then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is flanked by her sons Sanjay and Rajiv as they walk together in New Delhi.

On reaching AIIMS, Indira Gandhi was wheeled into emergency. Within no time, doctors quickly moved her to the operation theatre, where it is believed they pumped in several units of blood. ''The doctors told me in the emergency itself there was little hope. With so many bullets inside her what could be left behind?'' asks Dhawan, 25 years after the assassination that shook the world and India.

Indira Gandhi, prime minister of India for 15 years over two terms, died on her way to AIIMS. But she was not declared dead until many hours later. Official accounts spoke of 29 entry and exit wounds; 31 bullets were extracted from her body.

Later, the Justice Thakkar Commission of Inquiry pointed the needle of suspicion to Dhawan for allegedly changing the guard's duties. That was unfounded and Dhawan was exonerated. Sitting in his plush Golf Links residence in New Delhi, Dhawan is out of power now but remains a loyal Congressman with memories of that Oct 31 morning and its aftermath still coming back to haunt.
Image: Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi meets 30 June 1984 with a Sikh delegation at her home in New Delhi.

Hearing the gunfire, Sonia Gandhi was the first to rush out from her room. ''She was shell-shocked to see such a spine-chilling sight,'' says Dhawan. Though an ambulance was stationed in Akbar Road, the driver had gone out for tea. But not a minute was wasted and a bullet-ridden Gandhi was put into the official Ambassador car and rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Instructions were specifically given at the office to be relayed to AIIMS that the prime minister was being brought in. But when they reached the hospital, Dhawan recalls, the authorities were unaware of what had happened. ''Soniaji was at the backseat, Indira Gandhi on her lap while M.L. Fotedar (a trusted Congress loyalist), me and the driver were in the front. I could see she was bleeding profusely.''

Image: In this picture taken on February 25, 1961, then Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru poses with his daughter Indira Gandhi in New Delhi.

Before Dhawan's very eyes, Beant Singh drew out a .38 revolver in a flash and fired three shots into Indira Gandhi's abdomen. As she fell to the ground, Satwant Singh, who was from the Delhi Armed Police came running and emptied his carbine into her. ''It all happened so fast. Even today, I still shudder when I think of that moment when she was shot. Words fail me even now,'' says Dhawan.

Gandhi was not wearing her bulletproof vest that morning, something she was advised to wear after she ordered the army to storm into the Golden Temple in June that year. ''I remember Beant Singh say as he put his revolver down - We have done what we needed to, now you can do what you have to,'' recalls Dhawan, who immediately shouted for help.

Image: Photo taken 18 November 1972 in New Delhi of Roman Catholic nun Mother Teresa with India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Ustinov waited under a tree in the sprawling lawns for an interview that was never to be.
An hour later, everything changed. Dhawan remembers each detail of that terrible morning. ''Just a few days earlier it was Diwali and the gardens of the two houses that are adjoined were being cleaned. She had to wait for a while for the gardeners to clear out to go for the interview and I noticed she was getting restless,'' says Dhawan.

''When we finally got the go-ahead from security after about 10 minutes, I walked alongside her. As we reached the wicker gate that connects both gardens we saw Beant Singh, her Sikh bodyguard and dressed in civilian clothes, approach her.''

Image: This 1975 file photograph shows Iraqi President Saddam Hussein meeting with Indira Gandhi of India in Baghdad.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

PM Manmohan Singh Sonia Gandhi Mamata Banerjee And Omar Abdullah

Indian Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, waves to the crowd as Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, center and Indian Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, left, look on during a rally Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, unseen, addressed in Wanpoh, about 55 kilometers (35 miles) south of Srinagar, India.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union Railway minister Mamata Banerjee during a public meeting before inaugurating the train service linking Qazigund to Anantnag.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Congress workers offer sweets to Sonia Gandhi poster while celebrating party win

1* Congress workers offer sweets to Sonia Gandhi's poster while celebrating party's win in Patna

2* A Congress worker smears colours on a poster of Rahul Gandhi while celebrating party's win in the assembly elections of three states, in Kolkata on Thursday.

3* Congress party workers dance and burn sparklers as they celebrate party's victory in the Maharashtra assembly election in Mumbai on Thursday.

Sonia Gandhi and Maldives President Mohammed Nasheed during a meeing

New Delhi, October 23, 2009
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Maldives President Mohammed Nasheed during a meeing at her residence in New Delhi.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rahul Gandhi MP being welcomed with a huge garland rally at Ballabhgarh

AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi MP being welcomed with a huge garland by Congress leaders at an election rally at Ballabhgarh.
AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi MP addressing an election rally at Ballabhgarh .

Sonia Gandhi and Harayan Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Harayan Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda at a assembly election rally at Nuh in Mewat district Gurgaon.

Sonia Gandhi reacts as she holds a sword during an election campaign rally

October 10, 2009
Published:20:25 IST(10/10/2009)
Congress party president Sonia Gandhi reacts as she holds a sword during an election campaign rally, ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections in Mumbai. Maharashtra goes to the polls on October 13.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Rahul Gandhi interacting with students at Mar Ivanios College

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi interacting with students at Mar Ivanios College in Thiruvananthapuram.
Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi waves to the crowd during his election rally at Panvel in Maharashtra.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I visit a human being not a Dalit Rahul Gandhi

IANS 7 October 2009, 05:26pm IST

I visit a human being, not a Dalit: Rahul Gandhi

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The media had thrust a Dalit "frame" on his visits to poor districts of the country, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said here on Wednesday while stressing that he did not believe in the caste system and only saw people as human beings.

"I see myself going to a human being's house. I don't see it as a Dalit or an upper caste or lower caste house. As far as I am concerned, I am going to the poor man's house, whether a Dalit or a minority," Gandhi said at a press conference here.

Gandhi, who arrived here on Wednesday and will also visit Kochi and Kozhikode before leaving Thursday, said the media was to blame for the Dalit tag on his visits to poor villages in the country's remote districts.

"This differentiation occurs in the media, this doesn't happen in my mind. I personally don't believe in the caste system... The only difference I see between a poor person and rich person is that of opportunity."

He added vehemently: "This frame of Dalit (visits) is your frame, not mine."

Gandhi lashed out at sceptics saying that a "young politician" like him trying to get close to the people could not do so "sitting in an air conditioned office".

The "way it works" in Uttar Pradesh, for instance, he said, is that he tells his office to find the poorest village in the state and take him to the poorest man's house there. "The poorest are intelligent but don't have opportunity."

Asked about the objectives of his tours across India, he shot back saying that he was an inexperienced politician and was learning about the problems faced by the people in the country.

"I will learn till I die. Learning is action and action is learning," he retorted, to a question on when the learning would end and actions begin.

Referring to the recent spurt in Maoist attacks in states like Jharkhand and Orissa, he said: "There is a connection between Naxalism and the lack of ability of local governments to reach the people... the more people are involved in politics and the closer they are to the political system, the more involved they would be and less likelihood of Naxalism taking place."

Gandhi is in Kerala to recruit members for the Congress youth wing and the National Students' Union of India.

Unlike his previous visits to the state, this time it has been decided that none of the three interactions with the youth would be open to the media.

Dressed casually in jeans and a shirt, Gandhi said he would not be a decision maker in the Youth Congress and the students union.

"The positive aspects are that the youth are certainly predisposed towards the Congress and the youngsters in the country should come forward to enter politics. The talent search being conducted is only a supportive programme for the organisational elections," said Gandhi.

After the media interaction, he took part in the executive committee meeting of the party and addressed the youth leaders. He then left for a college to address youth in a closed door interaction.

The night before, he echoed the view in the Tripura capital Agartala, when he said: "Congress wants fresh blood. Unsullied and young leaders to remove the woes of people living in the hinterland of rural India."

"The youth wing of the Congress is being democratised. Both Youth Congress and the students wing of the party - National Students Union of India - must be more aggressive in implementing party programmes." 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sonia Gandhi being welcomed at an election campaign meeting in Nanded

Congress president Sonia Gandhi being welcomed at an election campaign meeting in Nanded, Maharashtra.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rahul Gandhi addresses a press conference in Agartala

Agartala, October 06, 2009

Published:20:6 IST(6/10/2009)
AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi addresses a press conference in Agartala on Tuesday. 

Sonia Gandhi HM P Chidambaram and AP CM K Rosaiah at Hyderabad International Airpor

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Home Minister P Chidambaram and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah embarking on an aerial survey of flood affected areas, at Hyderabad International Airpor.
Congress party president Sonia Gandhi pays homage at the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary in New Delhi.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Rahul Gandhi visits JNU

September 30th, 2009 - 2:20 am ICT by IANS

New Delhi, Sep 30 (IANS) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi late Tuesday visited the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus here and addressed a public meeting organised by the students wing of Congress party.

Gandhi spoke at length on various issues including economy and education and said it would take some time before growth could trickle down and energise the economy.

Responding to a query from the audience, he said, the industrial sector growth needs to be channelised for reforms in education and there is no point in industrial growth if its benefits do not reach the masses and resolve the common man’s plight. He also called for subsidising the education at all the levels.

The meeting, held in the Kendriya Vidyalaya grounds in the university campus was organised by National Students Union of India (NSUI), the students wing of Congress party.

Speaking to IANS, Manoranjan Mahapatra, a leader of NSUI’s JNU unit, said the recent efforts by Rahul Gandhi towards bringing more transparency in the elections to NSUI units all over the country will benefit the organisation and spur growth for the party as a whole.

The public meet, which was attended by over 3,000 students, was Rahul Gandhi’s maiden visit to the university campus after his foray into politics.

Gandhi, before moving to address the meet, also paid a quick visit to Jhelum hostel where he had dinner with students. He was accompanied by the Congress leader Meenakshi Natarajan.

A small group of students from the ultra-left students’ faction tried to create disturbance during the visit and even showed black flag to the leader but the situation was put under control.

राहुल गांधी जेएनयू और सवाल..

राहुल, जेएनयू और सवाल..

सुशील झा सुशील झा | गुरुवार, 01 अक्तूबर 2009, 22:05 IST

राहुल गांधी उत्तर प्रदेश में दलितों की बस्ती से अब सीधे जेएनयू यानी जवाहरलाल नेहरू विश्विद्यालय पहुंचे हैं. शायद ग़रीबों के साथ साथ बुद्धिजीवियों में भी पैठ बनाना चाहते हों. दलितों की बस्ती तो चुपचाप गए लेकिन जेएनयू पूरी सुरक्षा के साथ...

बुद्धिजीवियों से ख़तरा तो नहीं था... वैसे नेताओं को जेएनयू में हमेशा ख़तरा रहता है लेकिन जान का नहीं..बल्कि सवालों का...और उस ख़तरे से सामना राहुल का भी हुआ.

जैसाकि कहते हैं, जेएनयू वाले ताउम्र जेएनयू वाले रहते हैं. पत्रकारिता में आने के बाद भी मेरा इस संस्थान से नाता टूटा नहीं है और संयोग से उस दिन मैं वहीं मौजूद था.

तो पहले ये बता दूं कि राहुल के आने से पहले कैंपस में इतने पुलिसवाले पहुंच चुके थे जितने उनकी सभा में भी न पहुंचे थे. पार्टी वालों ने बड़ा सा पंडाल बनवाया था राहुल के लिए जो जेएनयू में कम ही होता है.

यहां बड़े बड़े नेता.. यहां तक कि दलाई लामा जैसी हस्तियां भी खुले में बात करती हैं... हां लेकिन फिर दलाई लामा या सीताराम येचुरी कांग्रेस पार्टी के युवराज भी तो नहीं हैं...

राहुल आए... एक छात्रावास में खाना खाने की इच्छा जताई... झेलम के छात्रावास में खाया और फिर पहुंचे छात्रों से मिलने...भाषण देने... भाषण भी दिया सवालों के जवाब भी दिए....लेकिन जेएनयू के छात्रों को प्रभावित करना इतना आसान शायद नहीं है.

राहुल को भी काले झंडे दिखाए गए लेकिन ये कोई नई बात नहीं थी क्योंकि यहां तो प्रधानमंत्री मनमोहन सिंह को भी काले झंडे दिखाए गए हैं.

जेएनयू की रवायत सवाल पूछने की रही है और राहुल को शायद ये पता था सो उन्होंने भी भाषण बीच में ही छोड़ा और बोले --- सवाल पूछो....जवाब देने के लिए मंच से उतर भी आए..

सवालों की झड़ी लगी.. कारपोरेट को टैक्स में छूट से लेकर गुटनिरपेक्षता, विदेश नीति, लातिन अमरीका पर भारत की नीति से लेकर वंशवाद पर भी सवाल पूछे गए...

विदेश नीति और आर्थिक मामलों से जुड़े सवालों पर वो कुछ गोल मोल सा ही जवाब देते रह गए... हर दिन मार्क्स, एडम स्मिथ और गॉलब्रेथ पढ़ने वालों को आप यूं ही कोई जवाब तो दे नहीं सकते सो ज़ाहिर था जवाबों से सवाल पूछने वाले असंतुष्ट ही रह गए....

फिर बारी आई कैंपस के एक चिर क्रांतिकारी की. उन्होंने तीखे अंदाज़ में सवाल दागा.... आपने कितने झंडे उठाए कहां नारे लगाए.. बस नेता बन गए.. परिवार की बदौलत.

राहुल थोड़ा रुके......कुछ सेकंड शांति हुई फिर बोले --- हां मैं परिवार से राजनीति में आया हूं लेकिन इस प्रथा को बदलने की पूरी कोशिश कर रहा हूं.

बदलाव की बात उनके पिता राजीव गांधी ने भी की थी लेकिन आगे वो नहीं कर पाए जो वो करना चाहते थे. क्या करते राजनीति के पेच में फंस जो गए......राहुल शायद अभी राजनीति के उन पेचों खम से अछूते हैं ...तभी सवाल सुनते हैं और जवाब देने की कोशिश भी करते हैं..

सवाल सुनने की ये आदत राजनीति में छूट जाती है.....देखते हैं राहुल कब तक ये आदत बरकरार रख पाते हैं.

news BBC

Friday, October 2, 2009

President Pratibha Patil presents the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace

President Pratibha Patil presents the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development, to Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of  the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Wednesday. Also present in picture are (from left of the President) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Sonia Gandhi campion 1991 Infy Mysore Visit to inaugrate Global Education Center

Sonia Gandhi campion 1991 Infy Mysore Visit to inaugrate Global Education Center (GEC)

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