New Delhi: A ‘dramatised biography’ of Sonia Gandhi, which could not be published in 2010 following protests from the party’s cadre, is all set to hit the stands soon. According to a report on The Indian Express, the publisher, Roli Books, has said that they though there was no official ban on the book, a slew of protests made the atmosphere in the country unfavourable for publishing the book in India.
Interestingly enough, it seems that Sonia Gandhi‘s lawyers have themselves cleared Roli to publish the biography now.
“After the change of government in May 2014, we wrote to them (Gandhi’s lawyers), asking them if they wanted to publish it now, and they gave us their consent,” Pramod Kapoor, publisher, Roli Books told The Indian Express.
PTI reports that The Red Sari, written by Javier Moro, was ready in 2008. “Originally published in Spanish in 2008, The Red Sari, written by author Javier Moro, had created a controversy when Congress spokesperson and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi had said it contained ‘untruths, half-truths, falsehoods and defamatory statements’ and threatened legal action.”
The book, first released in Spain seven years ago, was not available in India till now as no publisher invested in its English translation, apparently reluctant to take on the Congress, which was in power for 10 years till May last year. Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi had threatened a lawsuit against the author.
Mr Moro, who had no access to the Gandhi family, writes that Rajiv Gandhi’s announcement that he would be prime minister was like a “death sentence” for Sonia Gandhi.
“Rajiv took her hands in his as he continued whispering the reasons that were forcing him to accept the post. ‘Oh no! Oh my God, no!’ Sonia sobbed in a flood of tears…Her whole body contracted as if she had received an electric shock, and from the depths of her soul, a harsh, guttural cry arose.”
“Seven years after the conversation she had had with Rajiv in the hospital where Indira lay dying, in which she begged him not to accept the post that his mother had left vacant, her grim fear was finally realized,” the author writes.
After Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber in 1991, the book says, “Priyanka ran to her mother’s room and searched feverishly for her inhaler and antihistamines. When she came back into the living room, she saw Sonia sitting on an armchair with her eyes almost turned up, her mouth open and her head thrown back, trying to get air. She thought she was dying.”