“Why should we hesitate to call Sonia Gandhi a foreigner, when she hesitated to be an Indian citizen?” asked S. Gurumurthy, noted thinker and columnist when speaking at the release function of the books Sonia under Scrutiny and Sonia ka Sach (in English and Hindi respectively), in the capital recently.
The book, which is the eighth publication of India First Foundation, is edited by a senior journalist and political analyst, A. Surya Prakash, who presented it as “an effort to scrutinise and give views, information and security implications” on Sonia´s foreign origin issue, “since she hopes to be the Prime Minister.”
Praising the endeavour of the Foundation, S. Gurumurthy, who also investigated the Bofors issue in The Indian Express with Arun Shourie, called it a shame that we need a law to stop a foreigner from assuming a high office in the country. “It is not Sonia´s fault that she is a mass leader in India. It is actually the mass (the Congress), which is making her to lead them. It shows that any Tom, Dick or Harry can rule the Congress,” he remarked.
Throwing light on the citizenship of Sonia Gandhi, Gurumurthy informed the gathering that she was actually registered as Antonia Maino Gandhi with the Indian authorities. “After making her way into the Gandhi family in 1968, she sought permission to live in India as a foreigner after every five years till 1983 and was not willing to surrender her Italian citizenship. She considered the matter till 27th April 1983-whether to remain a foreigner or not. It was within three days, on 30th April, that she attained Indian citizenship,” he added.
Gurumurthy expr-essed pity on the mindset of the people who call Sonia, the Nivedita of India. “Unlike Sonia, Nivedita forgot herself as Margaret Noble after coming to India… There is a difference between ´living in India´ and ´living for India´,” he said. He added with confidence that if Sonia were to acquire a top position in India, the truth behind Bofors would die forever.
M.J. Akbar, editor, The Asian Age said that the problem with Sonia Gandhi was not the impact she was creating on BJP, but on the Congress itself. “Her understanding of Indian politics is bad,” he said. Rebuffing all the connections of the article ´Bofors Truth Points to Quattrocchi, Sonia´ in his paper, with the release of this book, Akbar said that the key question is: “Why did Quattrocchi get money?” and there has to be a “political dialogue across political differences”.
Janata Dal (U) leader, Jaya Jaitley said, “Sonia Gandhi does not want to share herself with us and still has one leg in Italy as she has her property in Italy but not here.” Concluding in a lighter vein, she proposed, that “if we are opening ways for her, why not ask Bill Clinton to come here and rule us as he can wear bundgalas, eat chicken tikka, dance with Rajasthani women and is also concerned for our bijli pani.”
The other noted personalities present were Balbir Punj, MP, Dinanath Mishra, MP and IFF president and K.N. Bhatt.