Date: 06 Jun 2010


HINDI, LANGUAGE THAT SERVANTS SPEAK//////////////////// THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, LONDON, JUNE 4, 2010. ///////////////// SONIA GANDHI FIGHTS TO BAN ‘BOOK OF LIES’////////////// By Dean Nelson in New Delhi.///////////// SONIA GANDHI, the Italian head of India’s ruling Congress Party and widow of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, has launched a legal campaign to stop the publication of a “fictionalized biography” based on her life. //////////////// Mrs. Gandhi has taken exception to her portrayal in The Red Sari – by the Spanish writer Javier Moro - as a snob who wanted to leave India following her husband’s 1991 assassination. The book also portrays her as a central figure in Indira Gandhi’s 1975 imposition of emergency rule. ///////////////// Authors and filmmakers have been drawn to the romance and tragedy of Mrs. Gandhi’s life. She married Indira Gandhi’s son Rajiv after meeting him at Cambridge in the mid- 1960s and was living with his family in New Delhi when his brother Sanjay died in a plane crash and Indira was killed by her Sikh guards. In 1991 Rajiv was assassinated by a Tamil suicide bomber. //////////////// Mr Moro’s book, which has been successful in Italy and Spain, is expected to be published in India later this year. ///////////// Lawyers for Mrs Gandhi yesterday described the book as “full of untruths, half truths, falsehoods, defamatory statements, completely imaginary and invented conversations”. They said she would “take all steps to protect and defend herself and her family”. ///////////// She appears to have been most wounded by its claim that she had wanted to leave India, describing it as "this country that devours its children” and had complained about having to learn to speak Hindi. In the book, Mr Moro writes that “Sonia did not understand why she had to learn a language only spoken by the servants”. ///////////// Both are potentially damaging for Mrs. Gandhi whose Italian nationality is used against her by opponents and whose supporters are overwhelmingly poor Hindi speaking voters. /////////// Mr Moro yesterday defended his claim that she had wanted to leave India. “There were articles in the Italian papers. After her husband died, her mother called, and it’s logical that she asked, “When are you coming home?” It’s not far-fetched, it’s a literary licence,” he said.///////////// 000000000