The wife was saying this morning: "It is about time Mrs. Sonia Gandhi became the prime minister."
"She will never be the prime minister," I said. "What do you think, this is their family inheritance or what! That Gandhi after Gandhi follows and takes over the chairmanship of the family business!"
"The people of India have faith and confidence in the Gandhi family, they know that only they can rule the country," the wife said. "So, as long as there is a single Gandhi left, he or she should rule the country."
"Look, we are a democracy," I said. "In a democracy there is nothing like prime ministers should be from one family only, no matter what their sacrifices may have been during the freedom struggle. Anybody can be a prime minister in a democracy, even you can be a prime minister. Have you thought of that?'
"Yes, I have thought of that," the wife said. "But I don't want to be prime minster, I am giving my prime minister's post to Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. If Mr. Narasimha Rao really cared for the country, he would do the same."
"You can give up your post because you don't have it, Mr. Narasimha Rad is the prime minister, why should he give his post up," I said. "He is an experienced politicians and statesman, he knows his job, he has held so many positions in government, he is a linguist, how can anybody even suggest that he should give up his job. AndÖfor whom!"
"For whom? Why don't you mention her name?" the wife said. "For Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, whom the whole country and the world wants to be the prime minister."
"Not the whole country, only the coterie wants her to be prime minister, and for its own personal reasons," I said. "And, as for the whole world, event the Italians are indifferent as to whether she becomes prime minister or not. In their county they change prime ministers every three months and give them no importance at all."
"We are not talking about Italy, we are talking about India," the wife said. "And we need Mrs. Sonia Gandhi because only under her leadership will the Congress become united and secularism will be protected and the country will progress."
"I think you really and sincerely believe that," I said. "All right, then, but how do you make her prime minister when she has very definitely stated that she does not want to become one."
"Mrs. Sonia Gandhi has never said she does not want to be prime minister, all she has said is that she does not want to be Congress president," the wife said.