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   People are saying that Rajiv Gandhi, though he has lost... (June 14, 1990)

People are saying that Rajiv Gandhi, though he has lost, has not changed one bit. This is not true.

For one thing, he does not stay at Racecourse Road any more. He does not travel by a special plane but uses Indian Airlines. Since defeat, he has been abroad only once and that by commercial airline. He does not appear on Doordarshan so oftern. He does not have Mani Shankar Aiyar to write his speeches, though this may be because he does not make so many speechs. He does not talk about Jawaharlal Nehru and about his mother. He does not depend on Buta Singh, or Buta Singh does not depend on him. He does not go on tours of rural India, reprimanding in public deputy collectors, gram panchyat officials, etc. though he is planning to start his rural tours shortly, but even then willnot be able to reprimand anybody. He does not drop into Moscow every few months. He has stopped championing the cause of the African nations, the Third World, the North-South divide. He has given up having Festivals of India. Last January he did not go for his annual holiday with inlaws and friends, at public expense. His security is still there, but much les visible. He has stopped wearing the buyllext-proof vest, but that he says he stopped doing for the last four years. He does not except traffic to stop when he is passing through or airports to close when he is landing or taking off. His wife is not very visible, his children are not written about. He used to be both prime minister and party president, but in keeping with the present democratic trend, he has given up one of the posts. He has stopped employing ad agencies to improve his image. He does not encourage K.K. Tewary any mpore, and, in fact, recently refused to come to his aid. He has forgotten the 21st century, though, about that, it may be said that he forgot it after his first year as prime minister. He has stopped sacking IAS official in public or private. He has stopped giving out the country's money, like it was his personal income, such as Rs. 100 crore to Bombay, though it never came to Bombay, or if it did, we do not know where it went.

I would say Rajiv Gandhi has changed a lot. Perhaps, we should give him another chance at being prime minister.

 
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