Sushmita Dev, the firebrand Mahila Congress chief, held a prayer meeting for her father, veteran Congress leader and former Union minister Santosh Mohan Dev, who passed away recently. At an event attended by Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Pranab Mukherjee, P. Chidambaram, Ahmed Patel and a host of Congress leaders, young Sushmita gave a very moving speech. Speaking simply but eloquently, she narrated how she and her family were coping with the loss of her father, drawing on incidents from her everyday life to come to terms with the loss. She also narrated how a friend of hers, who had lost his father in a violent death, told her that “You never get used to losing someone, you always think you will see the person when you walk into the room. But over time, it will stop hurting so much.” Later, when I asked her, she said the friend in question was Rahul Gandhi. And certainly Rahul and his family have seen more than their share of violent deaths in his family. Only recently at the University of California, he had recalled how his grandmother was gunned down by the very guards he used to play badminton with. It is hard to come to terms with any death, but gruesome assassinations take their own toll.
Sushmita Dev ( left) with the late Santosh Mohan Dev.
Congress leaders at the prayer meeting.