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Isn’t it common for people to trace their genetics and try to figure out who you look like? In India, it is a hobby if you ask me. The minute a child is born, people begin to opine how the baby’s nose is like that the father or lips like the mother. Perhaps this is why people have been obsessing so much on the similarities Priyanka Gandhi shows with her late grandmother and former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi. Hours have been spent comparing their hair, their smile, their style of speech and even dressing sense. Side by side photographs of the two are doing rounds on social media and was even shared by some Congress leaders. In case of an ordinary person, drawing out such similarities grants you a peek into your lineage. But in the case of Gandhi, it brings a lot of baggage and piling stakes against her success in politics.

SOME TAKEAWAYS

  • The media and political parties cannot stop talking about similarities between Priyanka and Indira Gandhi.
  • It seems that Priyanka’s entry into politics is more about Indira Gandhi, than herself.
  • There is a fair possibility that even Priyanka wants to project her similarities with Indira.
  • But, Indira Gandhi’s legacy is formidable, despite being controversial. Her granddaughter has big shoes to fill in.

Indira Gandhi, no matter what her critics say, still remains one of the most iconic women in India. The first woman to become India’s prime minister, Gandhi’s legacy is formidable, despite being controversial. So her granddaughter has big shoes to fill in. Which is why all the comparison between the two of them, only raises expectations with Priyanka.

It is interesting how both Gandhi’s own party Congress and BJP are busy putting her in a box. All they are seeing, are the similarities between Indira and Priyanka Gandhi, thus constraining the latter’s image. What they are forgetting is that these are two different women after all. They can be similar, yet so dissimilar. Priyanka could be just an average leader or a fantastical one, very different from her grandmother. But if we keep comparing her to Indira Gandhi, she’ll barely have a chance to carve out her own niche.

It is interesting how both Gandhi’s own party Congress and BJP are busy putting her in a box.

Playing a devil’s advocate, I’ll also like to point out that there is a fair possibility that even Priyanka wants to project her similarities with Indira. Indians still have a sweet spot for political dynasties, no matter how much fuss we make over nepotism. Most people I’ve interacted with are of the opinion that Gandhi’s entry has created a tough challenge for their oppositions, because the electorate seems to like her. The image she projects – that of the return of the great Indira Gandhi, is working its magic. Hence it is naïve if one assumes that Priyanka isn’t aware of it.

Indians still have a sweet spot for political dynasties, no matter how much fuss we make over nepotism.

Which makes us wonder, will we ever know the real Priyanka Gandhi? Is she too much under pressure to be like her grandmother? Will she forget who she actually is in that process and ends up doing what her party or the electorate wants her to? Alas, only time will show whether she emerges from the shadows of her grandmother and prove her own mettle, or drowns under the pressure to be like her. For the time being, let’s give her a fair chance.

Also Read : Why Is The Focus On Priyanka Gandhi’s Clothes?

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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