The Next Generation

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was reminiscing about her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, some years ago. "People say he was like the banyan tree: nothing and nobody grew in his shadow," she mused. "They are wrong. He was like the sun, and let everything and everybody grow -- even the weeds, let us be honest." It was vintage Indira, who would have denied there was a Nehru dynasty even as she came to symbolize it.

Leadership has been the Gandhi family's birthright. In a land accustomed to rajas, maharajas, kings and emperors, a republican ruling family was consistent with India's long history. It...

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