The Infamous Trio: Jayanthi, Teesta and Sonia

published on February 23, 2011
Dr.Vijaya Rajiva

All three women Jayanthi Natarajan, Teesta Setalwad and Sonia Gandhi exhibit unusual attitudes towards the burning of 59 Hindus (the  majority being women and children) in the Sabarmati Express at Godhra  on February 27, 2002. They range from indifference to  shrill condemnations of the Gujarat government for starting an investigation into the tragedy and after the trial court’s judgment (on Feb.22.2011) that it was a preconceived conspiracy to burn the Hindus, they have gone into a type of denial.

The psychopathology of these three women invites some reflection. In holding forth on the judgment of the trial court that this tragedy was a preconceived conspiracy to burn alive the Hindu pilgrims in the train  two of these women showed a conspicuous lack of feeling in referring to the tragedy as an “Incident.”

During a discussion of the judgment on NDTV Jayanthi Natarajan, spokesperson of the Congress, constantly referred to the roasting alive of 59 people as an ‘incident.’ In a
statement to reporters she again used the words the ‘Godhra incident’. The present writer was spared the sight of Teesta Setalwad at her shrillest best, since she did not appear on the NDTV program. She was one of the discussants in a CNNIBN program . While CNNIBN is to be commended for allowing equal air time to this now discredited activist, one would hope that this will not be an ongoing pattern.

She began her comments by calling everyone else on the program chiefly the BJP and her imaginary enemies “liars” ! This from someone whom the SIT (Special Investigative Team) last year found  guilty of bribing witnesses and hacking e-mails both in the investigations into the Best Bakery trial and the SIT investigation into the post Godhra communal riots !

Sonia Gandhi, ofcourse, has not commented publicly on the trial court judgment but there are reports  that she was largely indifferent at the news of the Godhra tragedy but quite anguished at the murder of the Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons in Orissa.

Her tribalism is by now well known.

No feelings of regret  or sorrow for the women, children and men who were burnt to death on the Sabarmati Express. Only the refusal to see  the justice of bringing some of the culprits to book for the crime. Prevarication and lying.This tribalism on the part of these three women is surprising for its consistency, the absence of any real feeling for those who are on the opposite side of the fence. One cannot help but sense the asuric nature of such attitudes : each of these three women display a vicious  attempt to bury the horror of the Godhra tragedy by referring to the post Godhra riots.

They try to deflect attention from this tragedy not simply out of political compulsions but because that is how they view the world. The 59 who died in Godhra  were Hindus and that alone is sufficient cause for denial that this tragedy took place. Hence, the  attempt to prove that the train burning was an accident, not a pre planned conspiracy by certain sections of the local Muslim population. Following this, that somehow the Hindus
of Gujarat  were victims of their own religious desire to go for a pilgrimage to Ayodhya and so on.

It is the presence of such women in the body politic that has also contributed to the sorry state that the country  is in. Simple pity escapes them. Their hardened political positions reflect a trend that should not be encouraged by treating it as ‘normal.’ Jayanti Natarajan of course, belts out her scripted statements in the usual expected ways and this is considered political commentary of sorts. Teesta Setalwad makes viewers cringe by her patent  dishonesty and  her  attempt to drive the wedge between two  communities under the cover of fighting for social justice.

Sonia Gandhi will be Sonia Gandhi. It would seem that  her star is waning. For the sake of the country this might be a good thing. And it won’t be long before the rats in her party  leave this particular sinking ship.


(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university)

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