Khushwant Singh needs no introduction. In this extract from Absolute Khushwant, he argues that while Rajiv Gandhi 'wasn't really a leader' his son Rahul shows a lot more promise.
'Rajiv wasn't really a leader '
We tend to build a legend around Rajiv Gandhi, glorifying him. But Rajiv had made more than a couple of mistakes in his time, call them grave errors of judgment if you will.
Rajiv was bullied into a position he wasn't equipped to handle. He was pleasant enough, and had some good ideas, but none of them extraordinary.
He wasn't really a leader. And I don't think he was cut out for politics.
He followed in his mother's footsteps and made many of the same mistakes.
Even the positive things he did, like telecom and computers - the plans had started in Indira Gandhi's time.
He bungled in Sri Lanka; he even fired a minister at a public conference!
His role in both the Shah Bano case and in the Babri Masjid incident cannot be denied. Both were big blunders that were irreversible and did long-term damage.
Image: Prime Ministers all - Rajiv Gandhi, PV Narasimha Rao and Indira Gandhi at an AICC session. AFP ImagesExcerpted from Absolute Khushwant: The Low-Down on Life, Death and Most Things In-Between by Khushwant Singh and Humra Quraishi with permission from Penguin Books India