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Sonia Gandhi by Rani Singh

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Sonia Gandhi`s story represents the greatest transformational journey made by any world leader in the last four decades. Circumstance and tragedy, rather than ambition, paved her path to power. Born into a traditional, middle-class Italian family, Sonia met and fell in love with Rajiv Gandhi, son of future Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi and grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru, while studying English in Cambridge. Cruelly tested by the assassinations of her mother-in-law and of her husband, Sonia grew into a strong, authoritative but always private figure, now president of a coalition ruling over a billion people in the world`s largest democracy. Through exclusive interviews with members of Sonia`s party, political opponents and family friends, Rani Singh casts new light on Sonia. In the first mainstream biography of this inspirational figure, the author’s compelling narrative retraces the path of the brave and beautiful Sonia Gandhi, examining what her life and legacy mean for India. Sonia Maino was born in a small Italian village. Her extraordinary journey that led her to become Sonia Gandhi is narrated in690~’s Sonia Gandhi: An Extraordinary Life, An Indian Destiny. This book begins with the tale of the love that blossomed between Sonia and Rajiv Gandhi when she met him in a restaurant in Cambridge, while they were both pursuing their studies in England. Far from being a smooth romance, they had to endure separation and opposition from their respective families. However, Sonia finally married Rajiv and moved to New Delhi at a time when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India. The first part of this book describes the peaceful and almost idyllic life that Sonia led with her husband and children. However, as the book progresses into the second half, the political dynasty comes crashing down. With the death of Sanjay Gandhi in a plane crash, Rajiv is compelled to take his place as the next Prime Minister. Tragically, Indira Gandhi is assassinated by her bodyguard and Rajiv Gandhi, at the age of 40, becomes the youngest Prime Minister in the history of Indian politics. However, things do not meet any resolution and Sonia’s life is thrown into further disarray when Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated. Far from escaping from such travesties, Sonia Gandhi enters the realm of politics and establishes the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in memory of his legacy. All her endeavors from then on have been to improve the conditions of the country, from education to military and poverty. In Sonia Gandhi: An Extraordinary Life, An Indian Destiny, the author stresses on Sonia’s political prowess and her ability to handle the most adverse situations, which has turned her into a political icon for the younger Indian generations.

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