13 June, 2021

Damaads Are Forever

Poles apart, Feroze and Vadra both left the Family embarrassed

Photo Courtesy: The Nehrus Personal Histories/Roli Books
Damaads Are Forever

One gave The Family its surname; the other gave it a bad name. This is the tale of two sons-in-law, both outsiders, and the family they married into. Let’s call them the nation’s sons-in-law or desh ke damaad—sobriquets bestowed on them by the political class and the media. Feroze Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru’s son-in-law and Indira Gandhi’s husband, gave the family a name that has enabled them to keep it forever associated with the Maha­tma, however tenuously, in the minds of lots of people. It’s also a name that has kept the family at the head of the Congress party right into the 21st century. And Robert Vadra, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law and Priyanka’s husband, seems to be giving the family more than its share of headaches and embarrassing moments.

There is no way of knowing how Feroze would have reacted in an era of 24x7 television and social media that is forever tweeting observations of and responses to the doings and sayings of anyone in the public eye, but consummate politician that he was, he...

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