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Friday, April 16, 2010

Edition 15 : Indira Gandhi Yearned For A Daughter

Vijay Satokar/PTI The letter by Gandhi is among several by the former prime minister to Singh, published by the former diplomat,author and parliamentarian in a new book.Blessed with two sons, Indira Gandhi, however, always yearned for a daughter. "My heart has always yearned for a daughter, so I can imagine your joy in Jagat's having a baby sister," Gandhi wrote to former diplomat K Natwar Singh, congratulating him on having a daughter. The letter by Gandhi is among several by the former prime minister to Singh, published by the former diplomat,author and parliamentarian in a new book. Brought out by Rupa, the 206-page book "Yours Sincerely, K Natwar Singh" also contains letters Singh wrote to and received from E M Forster, Rajaji, Lord Mountbatten, Dalai Lama, President Nyerere, Vijayalakshmi Pandit, M F Husain, Rajiv Gandhi, R K Narayan, Nargis Dutt and Dev Anand among many others. In another letter written in 1981, Gandhi wrote she felt depressed and isolated by the widespread cynicism, hypocrisy and hatred. "I have read some of the interviews in the book you left and I am depressed," she wrote. "I feel isolated, not because of policies, the correctness of which will be seen in time as it has been before. But while the earth spins on the beauty and with method, the world of men is a hollow one, where words have no meaning and sentiments, no feeling, the young have lost wonder, elan and even hope. Can a flame of idealism or avision of a better man be protected from all this cynicism, hypocrisy and hatred?" she wrote to the author. A year before she clamped emergency, Gandhi had written to Singh that she was engrossed in the domestic scene, which was extremely unpleasant and full of dangerous portents for "our democracy and for all the ideals for which India had stood" and which she had espoused in international forums. In 1980, after her re-election she wrote that the campaign was tough and hectic. "The real problems begin now. The economy is in a mess and beyond our border the dark clouds of cold war have gathered with rumblings of worst to come". On April 14, 1975, in another letter saying that shehad given in to a part of Morarji's demand about the Gujarat elections, Gandhi wrote "Our difficulties are acute and varied enough without having a dead Morarji haunting the scene.

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