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Roli Books plans to publish ‘banned’ Sonia biography

In 2010, the Roli Books plan to publish the “dramatised biography” in India was stalled by protests from the party and threats of lawsuits.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: January 16, 2015 3:11 pm

Spanish author Javier Moro’s book on Congress president Sonia Gandhi, The Red Sari (El Sari Rojo in Spanish), appears to have got a second life.

In 2010, the Roli Books plan to publish the “dramatised biography” in India was stalled by protests from the party and threats of lawsuits. In 2015, however, the publisher is going ahead. Copies of the book are already in stores.

“In 2010, there was no official ban, but the circumstances created were such that we could not go ahead. The Spanish publishers of the book, Planeta, wrote to us saying that this is not the right time, and we don’t want the book to be published in India. 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,” said Pramod Kapoor, publisher, Roli Books.

The author, however, had a slightly different view: what’s basically changed, Moro said in an email from an airport in London, is that he “did not want to publish the book in India before publishing it in the US”.

While, “there never was a lawsuit, it played a part in the book not being printed in the sense that these lawyers scared the prospective English language publishers,” the writer said.

The book is described as a “dramatised biography” of Gandhi’s life — “The true story of a naïve young woman, confronted by the complicated and dangerous world of Indian politics.”

“Even then, I strongly felt that this is a story that should be told. Because she was a leader of a billion people, and this is a story of her struggle, there is nothing scandalous about it,” said Kapoor.

Moro said Gandhi’s lawyers objected “that I told her Italian background in detail. They want her to have been born in India, but that is quite difficult at this point”.

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  1. Brij Lal
    Jan 16, 2015 at 1:02 am
    Freedom of expression and speech is basic right of every free man and shouldn't be curbed by any Democratic Government.
    1. G
      Jan 16, 2015 at 3:05 am
      This dramatised biography should be interesting.
      1. N
        Niladrinath Mohanty
        Jan 16, 2015 at 3:19 am
        Why the Congress party does want Sonia hi's Italian back ground to be hidden. After all it is a biography. She is iduously trying to project herself herself as a Hindu Indian.
        1. Priti Patel
          Jan 16, 2015 at 9:49 am
          visit website for latest english news :vishwagujarat/en/
          1. C
            Jan 16, 2015 at 3:50 am
            Good at last let all Indians know about her/family even though w world knows it much before This clearly shows how and what freedom of expression we had under these rulers how they covered up and glorified certain people to achieve their selfish goals and SCAMS. Jaihind
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