Tag Archive for 'Sonia Gandhi illness'

Get well soon, Sonia Gandhi

She isn’t particularly educated, secured her position because of whom she married and has compromised when needed. So what makes Sonia Gandhi India’s most powerful leader? In The Friday Times, Aakar Patel searches for the answers.

Sonia Gandhi, who has led India’s largest political party since 1998, is in a New York hospital after being operated on for cancer.

The Gandhi family has been secretive about her illness, and it came out only after being reported in the foreign press. Those in the Congress party who must have been updated about her condition, like prime minister Manmohan Singh and Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel, have not spoken about it. We do not really know how serious the illness is, which organ is affected or even whether or not it is in fact cancer. London’s Daily Telegraph reported that Gandhi had been under treatment for eight months before flying out in secrecy. This indicates that the surgery was serious and not “routine” as described by the Congress party’s spokesmen. more

What ails them?

In India, not just Sonia Gandhi, but political leaders from M.A. Jinnah to Indira Gandhi have been loathe to be forthcoming about their ailments writes Samanth Subramanian in India Ink, NYT’s new India-specific blog

In the tempestuous latter half of August — marked, in India, by a prominent activist’s public fast, pop-up protests, debates about corruption, and even debates about the debates about corruption — the Congress Party seemed to flounder like a dinghy in a maelstrom. Perhaps it was because no one was at the tiller. Earlier in the month, a spokesman had announced that Sonia Gandhi, the Congress president, had left the country for three weeks for surgery, and that the party would, in her absence, be run by a four-man committee.

Then even that trickle dried up; the party released no official word on what she was being treated for, where she was being treated, or when precisely she would return. When presented with rumors — of cancer, of a visit to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, of an Indian-origin oncologist being mysteriously called away from holiday — the party replied with grim silence. (She’s back now – or so we were told, in an equally laconic vein.) more

Gandhi dynasty: politics as usual

As Sonia Gandhi receives medical treatment in the U.S., foreign – and not Indian – media reported about the leader of the Congress Party. Can Indians hope that the party will have the maturity to elect one from amongst itself or will the limp Indian opposition cohere into a credible force, ask Neelam Deo and Manjeet Kripalani in Gateway House.

As the Indian television channels fell over each other to cover in minute detail, the unseemly succession drama of the Chief Minister of Karnataka, and the Comptroller and Auditor General’s naming of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit in the graft and corruption surrounding the India-hosted Comomwealth Games, by 2.30 pm this afternoon (August 4), foreign television agencies the BBC and Agence France-Presse reported that Sonia Gandhi, head of India’s ruling Congress Party, has undergone surgery in the United States. The foreign news reports named Gandhi’s spokesperson, Janardhan Dwivedi, as the source of the information. Dwivedi stated that Gandhi would be away, recuperating, for up to three weeks.

The news of Sonia Gandhi’s undisclosed illness and secret departure has come as a shock to Indians, who of late, have been feeling distanced from their government and are reeling from disclosures of massive graft by politicians and a failure to control inflation. Democratic institutions like the media and the Parliament, which should have disclosed Gandhi’s condition as a matter of public knowledge, have kept silent. more

Sonia Gandhi’s health can’t be a state secret, it’s not about privacy

Ever since news of Sonia Gandhi’s illness and subsequent surgery, reportedly at Sloane Kettering Memorial Hospital, New York, broke there has been endless speculation about the state of her health. The Congress party, however, has been tight-lipped, saying only that she will return after recuperating for two to three weeks and that her family asks that her privacy be respected. In FirstPost.com, R Jagannathan questions the need for secrecy.

There are only questions, and no answers so far, on Sonia Gandhi’s illness that required a surgery.

One, how can the nation’s most powerful political leader, virtual chief executive of the ruling party, not let us know that there was something for us to be concerned about?

Two, how is it that when so many people knew about it—her immediate family, close political advisors, doctors and hospital staff, and personal attendants—the media never got a whiff of it? And if it did, why did it choose to keep so quiet about it?

Three, is news about the illness or medical condition of the people who run our country a state secret? When the main reason for keeping a PM out of Lokpal is that the top executive should not be distracted by nitpicking concerns, is it legitimate to have our No. 1 political leader being unfit through illness?

Four, what makes us—as a people—particularly afraid to learn the truth about our leaders’ medical condition, whether it is politicians or businessmen? Are we happier living in a state of denial?

Five, why is it that even when we do know something now, there is a strange reluctance to reveal the full truth. A Congress party statement merely said: “Sonia Gandhi has been recently diagnosed with a medical condition that requires surgery. On advice from her doctors, she has travelled abroad and is likely to be away for two to three weeks.” more