1,198 random words on how far we have come

“Angry when hungry”, AMAR NARAYAN doesn’t know who shot this photograph or when. He isn’t even sure if it’s a genuine picture or a photoshopped frame.

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Let’s assume that this is Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi for real. They got married in 1968, so this could be in the early to mid -1970s. Certainly pre-1984, because they are buying from a real sardar at India Gate. Certainly pre-1983, because there are three Ambassador cars in the frame, and not a single Maruti. Certainly pre-1980, because Rajiv had become Congress general secretary after Sanjay Gandhi‘s death.

And let’s assume that this is a copyrighted Raghu Rai picture, shot intentionally in black and white for India Today, which was launched in 1975.

Now let us ask the obvious questions: Will our modern-day netas be caught in public thus, even for a photo-op? Will their security detail allow them to do so? Will the media allow them this kind of peace? Will they be eating streetside Indian ice-creams so unabashedly? Which of the current political couples are as photogenic as this? Will the moral police havaldars allow the wife of a neta to step out in a frock barely covering her knees?