The Red Sari is a fictional biographical account of Sonia Gandhi –  the Indian National Congress chief – by Spanish author Javier Moro. The book was written seven years ago but was not allowed to be published in India. Being a literary work on the life of Sonia Gandhi, The Red Sari did not impress the Congress party and they stopped the release of the book. The author received a number of emails to stop the book from being published. However, with the new government of Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party, Moro successfully published it in India.

Threatening emails from Congress

A book on the Congress President was not allowed to be published like a normal piece of literature. It took the author’s efforts of seven long years for The Red Sari to reach Indian shores. In between, Moro and the publisher went through a lot of tribulations caused by Congressmen. In an interview to India Today, Moro says that for six months he was afraid of opening his mail box, scared of the life threatening emails he used to receive. He said, “The Congress emailed my Spanish publishers threatening them, almost ordering them to withdraw the book from all bookstores, even though by then it had been published in Spanish, Italian and other languages, not in English.”

Story of The Red Sari

The book is not a biography but a fictional work based on real incidents. Moro visited various places and based his work on research, but the dialogues are the author’s interpretations. Considering real situations, he makes up how the conversation would have happened during that time. Research of The Red Sari was done by Moro after interacting with secondary sources, as primary sources were not accessible.

Protest on The Red Sari

Amid controversies about the Spanish version of The Red Sari being translated into English in October 2008, effigies of the author were burnt in front of the Spanish Embassy by party activists. The Congress party then opposed The Red Sari and threatened legal action against it by tagging the book as defamatory and an invasion of Sonia Gandhi’s privacy. The Congress party conducted protests on a book which was not even published in India! They also wanted the copies of The Red Sari to stop from being sold abroad.

Javier Moro tweeted Mumbai’s reaction to the book The Red Sari:

How Javier Moro started The Red Sari

Javier Moro was quite surprised about the fact that there was no book written on Sonia Gandhi then. He could not understand why there was nothing written on a powerful lady in Indian politics with a dramatic background of being born in Italy, getting married to an Indian prime minister’s son, and alter acquiring one of the most powerful posts in India. Read: My book puts Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in good light, claims ‘The Red Sari’ author Javier Moro

Impact of The Red Sari

The Congress was wiped out in the Lok Sabha Elections 2014 and have been losing in all the assembly elections in India ever since. The Red Sari might further impact the the already tainted image of Congress and Sonia Gandhi.

Edited by Shweta Parande