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Thursday, February 12, 2009

When 'Bua Mahadevi' wrote to PM Rajiv


Arindam Roy

[Saturday, May 22, 2004 01:09:28 am TIMES NEWS NETWORK]



ALLAHABAD: Well-known Hindi poetess Mahadevi Verma had penned a warm personal letter to Rajiv Gandhi on February 1989. On the occasion of Rajiv's 13th martyrdom year, which was observed on Friday (May 21), HN Mehrotra, an advocate, who had handed over the said letter to Rajiv, shared its contents with TNN.

We present the translated version of Verma's letter, losing some of the lyrical expressions of her facile pen.

She wrote, "Perhaps you do not know me very well. But, I knew your father, Feroze, very well. He was a class fellow of my younger brother. He called me ' didi '. I had seen your mother Indira Priyadarshini when she was a girl of five. To keep India united she gave unparalleled sacrifice.

"I am pained, when I recall the cruel incident. She has handed over a great nation to you. Your achievements make me confident that you will not allow the Himalayan-like great Bharat Mata to bow down.... May you live a hundred years and enhance the glory of the nation!"

Mehrotra recalled meeting Rajiv, in Delhi, with the said letter. He said, his wife, Sonia Gandhi, carried forward the Nehru-Gandhi family tradition of sacrifice. Rajiv and his mother were assassinated for the cause of the nation; Sonia relinquished her claim to prime ministership, despite the overwhelming verdict.

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