Libmonster ID: IN-1218
Author(s) of the publication: E. S. YURLOVA

Sonia Gandhi Keywords:INCNehru-Gandhi dynasty


Candidate of Historical Sciences

Sonia Gandhi is the president of the country's most influential and oldest party, the Indian National Congress (INC). The party, founded 125 years ago, led India to independence in 1947 and has been in power intermittently for about 45 years since. It was headed by members of the Nehru-Gandhi family who became prime Ministers of the country, outstanding world leaders Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.

Sonia Gandhi's life-private and public-is a story of personal tragedies and social success. This is the story of the murder almost before her eyes of a close friend and friend, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and the death of her husband, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. This is a new story of the ascent to the heights of political power. This is a unique story of how a modest Italian girl, extremely far from any politics, especially from such a subtle and sophisticated, almost inaccessible and elusive for an outsider observer, became a major Indian politician. She has been the head of the INC (Congress) for 12 years, which was experiencing a political crisis in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Under her leadership, the Congress became the ruling party again in 2004. Sonia Gandhi's political rise is also the story of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty's return to power.


Sonja Maino (full name - Edvige Antonia Albina Maino) was born on December 9, 1946 in a Catholic family in Italy, in the village of Orbassano, near Turin. Her father, Stefano, was a construction contractor who owned a small business. Mother Paola raised three daughters, the eldest of them was Sonya. In 1965, she went to study English at the University of Cambridge. There, a year later, she met the son of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Rajiv, who was studying to be an engineer. Young people fell in love with each other. According to Sonya, it was love at first sight. So did Rajiv.

However, Sonya's family was not happy with her choice. My father had no objection to Rajiv: "You just had to look in his eyes and you could tell he was a nice guy." But he believed that India was a country of completely different culture and traditions, and Sonya might not be able to get used to life in it. Moreover, she was too young, and so my father was sure that in a few months the infatuation would pass. But he was wrong. After meeting Indira Gandhi, whom Rajiv had introduced to Sonia in Cambridge, Sonia's relationship with Indira immediately grew stronger.

When Sonya turned 21, her father allowed her to go to India for the first time to "see everything with my own eyes." On January 13, 1968, Sonya flew to Delhi, where she was met at the airport by Rajiv, and they went together to the house of his close friends. The engagement ceremony of Rajiv and Sonia was held there 2 weeks later, following the Indian tradition. Sonia was wearing an Indian outfit, decorated with a garland of flowers in the style of Kashmiri brides (the Nehru family was descended from Brahmins from Kashmir).

Rajiv and Sonia's wedding took place on February 25 of the same year in the garden of Indira Gandhi's house. It was a simple ceremony with traditional Hindu rituals: the bride and groom exchanged flower garlands, and then Rajiv read a sloka (stanza) from the oldest Indian literary monument - the Rig Veda1. Indira Gandhi chose this passage herself and translated it into English. It contained a wish of peace and happiness to the new family:

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 A gentle wind blows, 
 Water splashes softly in the river. 
 Let the flowers bloom for us, 
 Let the nights and days bring 
 we are happy... 

To emphasize Sonia's connection to her new family, she wore a homespun cotton sari that Nehru had spun while in prison. This sari was worn by Indira at her wedding to Feroz Gandhi in 1942.2 It was a symbol of Sonia's belonging to the traditions of the Nehru-Gandhi house and family. The wedding was very modest, especially by Indian standards, when it is usually attended by numerous relatives, sometimes several hundred people. Apart from Indira Gandhi, only representatives of both families and close friends of Rajiv were present at the wedding.

After the wedding, the young family began to live in Indira Gandhi's house, where everyone spoke Hindi and everything was arranged in an Indian way. Sonia became a close friend of Indira Gandhi's Indian family. In a warm, relaxed atmosphere, she absorbed the culture and customs of India, studied Hindi. Rajiv worked as a co-pilot on an Indian Airlines plane. Both led a quiet, measured, happy family life. In 1970, they had a son, Rahul, and 2 years later a daughter, Priyanka.

The smooth running of their lives was suddenly disrupted when Indira Gandhi's youngest son, Sanjay, died in a plane crash at the age of 33 on September 23, 1980. Unlike Rajiv, who was far from politics, Sanjay was a member of Parliament, an energetic and tough politician. Together with his wife Maneka and son Varun, he also lived in the house of Indira Gandhi. She had a particularly close and cordial relationship with Sanjay, whom she apparently saw as her successor as Prime Minister. Sanjay's death shocked Indira Gandhi and her family.

After Sanjay's funeral, Rajiv, as the eldest brother and only male in the family, was traditionally expected to receive everyone who came to their house to express their condolences in connection with this tragedy. Many people said that he should take his brother's place in politics. Rajiv stubbornly refused. Sonya insisted that he not give in to these persuasions. Indira Gandhi, who was grieving over the death of her beloved son, also strongly asked Rajiv to help her in her work.

As a result, he was forced to give in and resigned from the airline on May 5, 1981, to run for parliament in the Amethi constituency (Uttar Pradesh), from which Sanjay was elected, and at one time his grandfather - Jawaharlal Nehru, and Vijayalakshmi Pandit - Indira's aunt. When asked why he changed his mind about participating in politics, he simply replied:: "I think Mom needs help."

Rajiv became a member of Parliament. Belonging to the Nehru-Gandhi clan almost immediately catapulted him into the first ranks of prominent political figures. He quickly became not only a recognizable but also revered political figure. Congressional ministers and party leaders from various states lined up to greet the rising political star, possibly the future leader of the party and the country. In 1983, Rajiv was elected as one of the General Secretaries of the Congress.

The situation in the family has changed dramatically. As a public figure, he had to devote most of his time to political affairs. "For the first time in the 15 years that we have known each other," Sonya wrote, " we have developed a strained relationship. I fought like a tigress for him, for our children, for our life together... and most of all for our freedom: for the simple human right that we so carefully and constantly guarded. " 3

Meanwhile, Rajiv traveled more and more around the country, taking part in numerous rallies and gatherings. Many people had the impression that Indira Gandhi was preparing him to succeed her. This was especially evident in December 1983, when Rajiv became the main organizer of an important jubilee session of the Congress in connection with the centenary of the first Indian National Conference, organized by the Indian Association - the predecessor of Inc. It is no coincidence that invitations to this conference were issued-

page 43

uis, including to foreign delegations, were sent on his behalf.


Meanwhile, Rajiv and Sonya were in for another tragic shock. On the morning of October 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi was murdered by her Sikh bodyguards in the garden of her home. Sonya ran out of the house at the sound of gunfire. The mortally wounded Indira was placed in a car (the ambulance, which was supposed to be constantly on duty at the Prime Minister's house, was for some reason absent). Sonya got into the car and put Indira's head on her lap. The car sped to the hospital. Indira Gandhi passed away in her arms without regaining consciousness.

Upon receiving the news of his mother's murder, Rajiv immediately flew in from Calcutta and went straight to her hospital. When he returned home, he informed Sonia that Congress leaders were asking him to lead the government.

Sonya begged him not to. She said they'd kill him, too. She will later write: "Rajiv took my hands, hugged me, tried to comfort me. And he said he didn't have a choice. In any case, he will be killed. " 4

On the same day, October 31, 1984, Rajiv Gandhi was unanimously elected leader of the Congress parliamentary group and sworn in by President Zail Singh as Prime Minister. He was only 40 years old when he became the youngest leader of a huge and complex country.

On November 19, 1984, the birthday of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv and Sonia wrote identical separate wills for their children. Rajiv wrote: "In the event of my death, as well as the death of my wife Sonia, at the same (or different) time, in the same place or in different places, in or out of India, our bodies should be taken to Delhi and cremated together in accordance with Hindu ritual-in the open. Under no circumstances should our bodies be burned in a crematorium. According to our custom, our eldest son, Rahul, must light the funeral pyre... I wish our ashes to be scattered in the Ganges near Triveni (the confluence of three rivers) in Allahabad, where the ashes of my ancestors were scattered. " 5

These wills speak volumes about Rajiv and Sonia's emotional turmoil. They also show that Sonia became not only an integral part of the Nehru-Gandhi family, but also organically fit into the Hindu tradition, adopted Indian culture and customs.

Sonia was still afraid for Rajiv's life. Especially after two attempts on his life - on October 2, 1986 in Delhi and on July 30, 1987 in Colombo.

After the Congress lost the parliamentary elections in 1989 and Rajiv Gandhi became the leader of the opposition, the former security guard reserved for the Prime Minister was removed. Sonya and her children's anxiety increased. His son Rahul constantly called from America, where he was studying at the university at the time, asking about his father. In March 1991. He came to India and accompanied Rajiv on an election trip to Bihar. Rahul was so distressed by the lack of basic security that he even told his mother that if this continued, he would soon have to come to his father's funeral.6

Rajiv Gandhi was again running for Parliament from the Amethi constituency, and Sonia, along with her daughter Priyanka, participated in his election campaign. On May 20, 1991, Rajiv and Sonia voted together at a polling station in Delhi. On the same day, Rajiv flew to Orissa, then to Tamilnadu, where the election campaign was still ongoing.

On May 21, 1991, during one of the mass rallies, Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a terrorist from the militant organization Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who sought an independent Tamil state in the north-east of Sri Lanka. It was

page 44

revenge for the fact that the Indian troops sent by Rajiv Gandhi to Sri Lanka were fighting against the separatists.


After the 1991 parliamentary elections, in which the INC won the largest number of seats in Parliament (232 out of 543) and won the right to form a government, the party leadership invited Rajiv's widow Sonia Gandhi to lead the party and the government.

She refused. At that time, Sonia Gandhi was not yet ready for such a turn in her life, either morally or politically. She didn't have any significant political experience and wasn't even a member of Congress. Sonya spent the next 6 years in virtual seclusion, devoting herself to adult children. During this time, she wrote two books: Rajiv (1992) and Rajiv's World (1994). Later, she traveled to India and around the world, creating Rajiv foundations.

However, the Congress leaders did not abandon the idea of involving her in the party's affairs, not without reason hoping that Sonia Gandhi, as a member of the well-known Nehru-Gandhi family, would help the party out of the crisis. After all, in those years, the INC noticeably lost its influence, and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People's Party, BJP) increased its political weight.

In 1997, Sonya finally gave in to these requests and agreed to become a party member. In 1998, she was elected President of the Congress, and in this capacity she participated in the 1998 parliamentary elections. For more than a month, she traveled 60,000 kilometers across the country, speaking at 140 pre-election rallies. Her appearance attracted thousands of people. For many, she was, first of all, the widow of Rajiv Gandhi and the daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi, a member of the Nehru-Gandhi clan, a continuation of the traditions of the Congress. She dressed and combed her hair like an Indian, and spoke Hindi, although with a noticeable accent that was not perceived as a disadvantage. It seemed that Sonia Gandhi's entry into the political scene helped revitalize the party and give it a new lease of life. However, the Congress has not yet been able to overcome the crisis and remained in opposition in Parliament.

The right to form a Government after the 1998 elections was granted to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Atal Bihari Vajpayee, an experienced politician, became the country's prime Minister.

In April 1999, the BJP and its NDA allies lost their majority in the lower house of Parliament after the exit of the regional Tamil party led by Jayalalita. After that, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said that her party is able to win a majority in the same parliament and form a government. The Congress began negotiations with a number of parties, but failed to enlist their support.

As a result, after the deadline set by the President of India to form a government, Sonia was forced to admit that the INC did not have the necessary majority. This dealt a serious blow to the prestige of the party and led to the fact that early parliamentary elections were called in the country, which no party wanted and which the voters were tired of.

During the 1999 election campaign, BJP leaders raised the issue of banning people of foreign origin from holding top positions in the country's legislative, executive and judicial bodies. The goal was obvious-to undermine the position of Sonia Gandhi and her party in the elections. Note that the Constitution of India does not contain such a rule. Moreover, it explicitly states that"discrimination based on religion, race, caste, gender or place of birth is prohibited" .7

The debate over Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin was very heated. This is despite the fact that she has lived in India for more than 30 years and has been a citizen of this country since 1983, having renounced her Italian citizenship. Her opponents argued that, while the Constitution does not prevent persons of foreign origin from holding senior leadership positions in the country, the Constitution does not prohibit foreign-born persons from holding senior leadership positions in the country.-

page 45

However, its creators could not have foreseen the situation that developed in the late 1990s and early 2000s (i.e., there was a real possibility of such a legal incident). At the same time, references were made to the constitutions of a number of countries, including the United States, which do not recognize the right of natives of foreign countries to be elected to the presidential post.

For their part, Congress supporters stressed that attempts to deprive Sonia Gandhi of the right to hold high positions are an attack on the Indian tradition of tolerance for foreigners.

It was noted that the history of India has known cases when people of foreign origin rose to the top of the political and social life of colonial India. Among them was an Irish woman named Annie Besant (1847-1933), who was active in the national liberation movement, formed the Indian Self-Government League, and was elected President of the Indian National Congress in 1917. Another head of the Congress (in 1933) was an Englishwoman, Nellie Sen Gupta (1886-1973), who married an Indian, J. P. Morgan. Sen Gupta, who studied at one of the colleges of the University of Cambridge. After coming to India with him, she became active in the national movement, and was elected to the Calcutta Mayor's Office and the Bengal Legislative Assembly.

Experienced political opponents of the Congress and Sonia Gandhi personally took a more sophisticated position. L. K. Advani, one of the leaders of the BJP and a very sophisticated politician, in the book "My Country. My Life " wrote that its position on Sonia Gandhi was not related to the legal aspects of her citizenship. India is an open society, and Indian culture has a great capacity for assimilation, especially when it comes to a person who becomes a member of an Indian family as a daughter-in-law. The very fact that someone is born abroad does not prevent Indians from considering them their own. Like every Indian, Advani continued, I sympathize with Sonia Gandhi in the tragedies that befell her. I also admire the courage with which she overcame them. However, there was one question that "disappointed" me the most. This is the" active participation "of Sonia Gandhi in the" cover-up "of the role of the Italian Ottavio Quattirocci in the notorious "Bofors case". This is devoid of any political morality and is incompatible with a person who aspires to hold the highest office in India.8

The "Bofors case" itself arose in connection with the sale of a large batch of 155 mm howitzers to the Indian Armed Forces in 1986 by the Swedish company A. B. Bofors. In April 1987, Swedish State radio reported that large sums of money had been paid to intermediaries in the deal. Investigations revealed that an intermediary who worked in Delhi as an agent of an Italian multinational company and allegedly knew the Prime Minister's wife, Sonia Gandhi, was involved in the purchase of Swedish howitzers.9

Rajiv Gandhi denied any involvement in the Bofors affair. However, this issue was widely discussed in Indian political circles and caused serious damage to his reputation. In 1988, the Gandhian government tried to pass a bill to restrict press freedom, which provided for the imprisonment of editors and owners of print publications guilty of" offensive publications "or"criminal attempts to tarnish someone's reputation". Indian observers believed that the bill was a reaction to the publication of materials about corruption. It was met with a collective protest from newspaper publishers and strong opposition in Parliament. The bill was eventually withdrawn from consideration 10. Sonia Gandhi's opponents tried to accuse her of seeking power in order to "close" the Bofors corruption case.

The discussion about Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin also affected the Congress. The demand to ban persons of foreign origin from being elected to the highest government posts was supported by a number of members of the Congress leadership. The resulting sharp conflict in the party's upper echelons led to the resignation of Sharad Pawar, an influential leader in one of the key states, Maharashtra, and the formation of the Nationalist Congressional Party in 1999. This weakened the Congress position and played into the hands of the BJP and its allies. As a result, INC suffered political damage not only in Maharashtra, but also in India.

page 46

Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and some other states.

While the BJP relied on the experienced and well-known politician Vajpayee and announced in advance that he would take over as Prime Minister if the NDA won the election, the Congress leadership was unable to present its candidate for Prime Minister to the voters. Indian political scientists thought that it could be Sonia Gandhi or the former finance minister in the Congress government of 1991-1996. Manmohan Singh, who was considered the founder of Indian economic reform. However, this did not happen. The Congress could not finally decide on its candidacy for the post of head of government.

Sonia Gandhi, essentially a newcomer to big-time politics, who entered this path just a year and a half before the election, was inferior to Vajpayee in all aspects of the political struggle, except for one thing - she was a member of the Gandhi-Nehru family.

This was the main argument that her entourage wanted to use to lead Inc to victory. While the BJP emphasized the representative nature of the coalition it leads during the election campaign, the Congress emphasized the preservation of dynastic character in its leadership. Sonia was represented primarily as the widow of the murdered Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the daughter-in-law of the equally deceased Indira Gandhi. Her daughter Priyanka and son Rahul, who supported her mother, also participated in the election campaign with Sonia.

The Congress position was also weakened by Sonia Gandhi's indecision in choosing a parliamentary constituency and her fear of facing a strong opponent. It was about selecting two "safe" electoral districts for her to insure against defeat. This practice was not unusual. It was often used by top leaders of the Congress and other major parties. Sonia eventually won both Rai Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh) and Bellary (Karnataka) districts. However, Sonia Gandhi's involvement in the political struggle in these elections did not bring the expected results to the Congress. But Sonya's own position in the party has strengthened.


After the 1999 elections, Sonia Gandhi was elected head of the Congress parliamentary group and leader of the opposition in the lower house of Parliament. But she did not limit her activities to the parliament, she traveled extensively to villages, met hundreds and thousands of people, and visited Hindu temples. And she even took part in the main mass religious festival Kumbh Mela, which attracts millions of Hindu pilgrims every 12 years. Together with them, she bathed in the sacred waters of the Ganges near Allahabad. Some politicians have called it "political bathing" in order to attract the attention of Hindus, who make up 80% of the country's population.11

At the same time, the political evolution of Sonia Gandhi as a leader of the masses, well-versed in a complex concrete situation, was not without problems and miscalculations. For example, in the 2002 Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections. she took a very hard line against the state's popular BJP Chief Minister Narendra Modi, calling him a "merchant of death" (in reference to the events in the Gujarati city of Godhra, which resulted in the deaths of 1,180 people) .12 At a pre-election rally of thousands of his party, Modi asked: "Do you consider me a merchant of death?" In response, the crowd shouted "No!" in unison, of course, this did not decide the fate of the elections in this state. But, one way or another, Congress was defeated.

By the next election in 2004, Sonia Gandhi was already the recognized leader of the INC. She spoke as a highly experienced politician, emphasizing her commitment to the ideology and politics of Nehru, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi. The main purpose of the Congress, she said, was to serve aam aadmi (the common man). As noted by Indian observers, Sonia used the same methods of political propaganda as Indira Gandhi - demeanor, gestures, clothing, hairstyle, etc.

In other words, she has become an experienced, calculating and pragmatic politician.

The topic of her foreign origin has largely disappeared from the speeches of her opponents, except for the amusing statements of some BJP members that she cannot be considered an Indian because her favorite dish is spaghetti and the children speak fluent Italian.

In the 2004 elections The INC, led by Sonia Gandhi, put forward a program that was largely aimed at the majority of the population. It was also significant that, in fact, for the first time, the Congress widely used the tactics of coalition cooperation in elections with other parties. As a result, the INC and its coalition allies, the United Progressive Alliance (UGA), as well as left-wing parties, won a majority in the lower house of Parliament.

Sonia Gandhi, as President of the Congress, became eligible for the post of Prime Minister. Indian President Abdul Kalam sent her an official letter inviting her to discuss the issue of forming a government the next day, May 19. It was assumed that at the same time she will take the oath of office as Prime Minister 13.

However, on the evening of May 18, Sonia Gandhi unexpectedly decided to resign as Prime Minister. At a meeting of the parliamentary faction of the Congress in the lower house, she stated:: "The post of Prime Minister is not my goal. I've always believed that if I find myself in the position I'm in today, I'll follow my inner voice. Today, this voice tells me that I must humbly give up such a post... My goal-

page 47

Lew has always been a champion of the secular foundation of our nation and the poor in our country-a sacred credo of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi... At this critical time, it is our primary responsibility to establish a strong and stable secular government in India." Sonia Gandhi has pledged to work for the good of India as President of INC. 14.

A sound political calculation prompted her to make the right decision.

Sonia Gandhi's resignation from the post of prime Minister was attributed by many Indian experts to a campaign to discredit her as a possible leader of the country, which was widely commented on by the media. It was also reported that a number of BJP leaders protested against her appointment to the post15.

In view of this dramatic development of events, the parliamentary group of the Congress decided to amend the party's charter. In accordance with them, instead of the existing posts of two leaders of parliamentary factions separately in the lower and upper chambers, the post of chairman of the parliamentary faction of both chambers was established, which was now jointly elected by the members of these chambers from the INC. The Chairman was given the power to appoint the leader of the parliamentary faction of each of the Chambers from among their members. Sonia Gandhi was unanimously elected Chairman of the Congress parliamentary group. And already in this capacity, she appointed Manmohan Singh, who became the Prime Minister of India, as the new leader of the party's faction in the upper house of parliament.

Meanwhile, the subsequent course of events revealed what some observers saw as Sonia Gandhi's attempt to pave the way for her son Rahul's entry into big politics. In this case, there was an analogy with Indira Gandhi, through which her youngest son Sanjay quickly entered politics and was perceived by many in Congress not only as one of the leaders of the party, but also as a possible contender for the post of prime minister.

In the 2004 elections Rahul Gandhi was elected to Parliament from the same Amethi constituency from which other members of the Nehru-Gandhi family were elected. About the symbolic significance of such an event, Sonia Gandhi said: "This district, as well as the district of Rae Bareilly, were intended by karma for both Feroz Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, and Rahul and me... This is the land of our karma."

After the election, Rahul was elected as one of the INC's general secretaries. The party leadership began to talk about the fact that he was assigned a higher role in the Congress and the country. Rahul became actively involved in the party's activities, especially among young people.

Later, the party leadership considered including Rahul in the Cabinet of Ministers. But he refused to do so and preferred to concentrate on his work in the party. In this regard, the influential Minister of Human Resources Arjun Singh said that he sees nothing wrong in the fact that Rahul Gandhi can become a candidate for Prime Minister in the next parliamentary elections in April-May 2009. In unison with him, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that the accepted truth is that leadership should go to young people. In August 2008, another Congress Secretary General, Prithviraj Chavan, said that Rahul would play a more important role in the future. It has already become the third pole in Congress after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Party President Sonia Gandhi16.

The leadership of the 2009 parliamentary election campaign was actually in the hands of Sonia Gandhi. However, unlike the previous elections, it remained more in the shadows. At the same time, Rahul Gandhi was projected in the public consciousness as a future Congress leader and even a possible Prime Minister of India. It is no coincidence that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself said quite clearly during the election campaign that Rahul Gandhi has all the qualities to become Prime Minister.17

As a result of the 2009 elections, the Congress, together with its coalition allies, the United Progressive Alliance, won 261 seats in Parliament and 36.2% of the popular vote. Up to a simple majority (272 seats) The OPA lacked 11 seats, which had to be "taken" from other parties and independents, which it managed to do. The OPA government was formed, headed by Inc. Manmohan Singh became Prime Minister again.

Sonia Gandhi was also again elected leader of the United Progressive Alliance parliamentary group. As before, she continues to hold the key position of President of Inc.

India is now on an economic and political boom, experiencing one of the most fruitful periods in its centuries-old history. And at this turning point, her fate is largely determined by Sonia Gandhi, who many Indians rightly consider the most influential political figure in the country.

Karma (skt. - act) - the sum of the actions of a living being and their consequences, which determines the nature of its new birth, reincarnation (approx. ed.).

1 Rig Veda-a book of hymns, the oldest monument of Indian literature, approximately X century BC.

Vasudev Uma. 2 Indira Gandhi. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House, 1974, p. 171.

Gandhi Sonia. 3 Rajiv. Viking, p. 6.

4 Ibid., p. 9.

5 Ibidem.

6 Ibid., p. 13.

7 The Constitution of India. Moscow, innostran. lit. Publishing House, 1956, article 15.

Advani L.K. 8 My Country. My Life. New Delhi: Rupa & Co, p. 585 - 586.

Guha Thakurta Paranjoy, Ragheraman Shankar. 9 Divided We Stand. Los Angeles, L., New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2007, p. 139 - 140, 149.

Decan M.V. 10 The Indian Media // India Briefing, 1989. Boulder: Westview Press, 1989, p. 30.

Chowdhury Neerja. 11 Sonya Takes a Political Dip at the Kumbh // New India Express. 20.01.2001.

12 The Hindu. 01.03.2009.

13 www.newindpress/18.05.2004.

14 The Hindu. 19.05.2004.

15 Frontline. June 05 - 18, 2004.

16 The Hindu. 06.04; 15.04; 12.08.2008.

17 The Hindu. 16.04.2009.


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