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Romance, Tragedy and Truth Telling on JLF Day 3

  • IWB Post
  •  January 24, 2015


Javier Moro is a Spanish Writer who is famous for his book ‘The Red Sari: When Life is The Price of Power’. The book is a story of the Congress Leader Sonia Gandhi. Originally called ‘El Sari Rojo’, the book ran into controversy with the Congress Party and was censored. In conversation with a veteran Indian journalist Madhu Trehan, Javier impressed the audience with his intelligent one liners and great sense of humor. He spoke about his experiences while writing and researching in India for this book.

He said:

“It took me 5 years to study Sonia Gandhi.”

So how did he tell Sonia Gandhi about his work?

“When I met her I told her ‘I have been sleeping with you from last 5 yrs’. She was shocked for seconds until I cleared saying that I have been studying about her till I go to bed.”

Spanish Cover of the Book

Spanish Cover of the Book

And about his book?

“I asked her if she has read my book. She replied ‘We never read what is written about us’. And that was all. That is the only sentence she has ever told me and that the book quotes. Can you believe it?”

What is the story about?

It is not about the Congress or the Gandhi family. It is about a woman and her struggles as a wife, widow and mother. But not as a leader. Her real life was itself so dramatic, I didn’t have to add extra zing to it. Her story is a dream-work for any writer.”

Javier specifies:

Rajeev’s death was a tragedy. Suddenly, Sonia’s existence in India was questioned. She was alone. Taking over the Congress dynasty was never in her mind. She was just a widow at that moment. But I think if there would be an Indian bahu at her place, she would have been done the same what Sonia did. Our values teach us to stick by the family and not just leave them.”

Who is Sonia Gandhi for him?

“She always knew her husband’s life was in danger but still after his assassination, she couldn’t believe that. She must have cried a lot, the wound must be deep. Imagine the emotions and all those tears. The intensity of her marriage with Rajeev was special because of the fear of losing him. Their marriage was beautiful.”


“She was never a rebellion as most of us think. She was not even ambitious. When she was young and came to India, she wanted to restore historic paintings. She was and still is a simple family woman. I have seen that side of Sonia and that’s what my book is trying to tell the world. The book shows the transformation of a quite girl into a fighter woman.”

Final words from Javier Moro before he commenced:

If I was an Indian journalist, the story would have been different. I might have judged the Gandhi family because of their political position in the country. As an outsider, I haven’t judged them, or Sonia in particular.”

Dress up your mind in ‘The Red Sari’ here .

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