Known for her reticence, Congress president Sonia Gandhi chose to speak from her heart, sharing her feelings and thoughts as she retraced her life story in India and her journey into politics.
“Like Rembrandt’s it is a story of light and darkness, of mystery and the hidden hand of destiny. Like Van Gogh's it is also a story of inner struggle and torment, a story of how the experience of loss can impart a deeper meaning to life,” Sonia said while speaking on “Living Politics: What India has Taught Me,” at the Nexus Institute in Tilburg in The Netherlands. The institute is a leading Dutch think tank.
Dwelling on some important landmarks in her life, Sonia said that India has taught her that politics is not just the art of the possible but also the art of the impossible as evidenced from the country's independence through a non-violent movement.
Referring to the time when she declined the prime minister's post, Sonia said: “I always knew in my heart that if I ever found myself in that position I would decline the post.”
“The plain fact is that power for itself has never held any attraction for me. My aim in politics has always been to do whatever I can in my own way to defend the secular, democratic foundations of our country and to address the concerns and aspirations of the many whose voice often remains unheard.”
As a politician in a country where many still live in poverty, Sonia saw her “obligation and responsibility” to empower the poor and the vulnerable. “Growth without equity tends to destabilize societies while equity without growth simply cannot be sustained,” she said, her comments coming in the backdrop of the controversy that the country's 9 per cent economic growth did not percolate down to the masses.