Who killed Indira Gandhi ? Sonia ! Indira Gandhi first to Lohia Hospital and then to AIIMS meant waste of time leading to Indira’s bleeding to death
Modern era may be called “Junk Times” considering the volume of junk snail mail, email forwards, unwanted SMSes and unsolicited cell calls that we receive every day! And only a few days ago, my computer received an article said to have been written in2005 by Dr.Subramanian Swamy, titled “Do you know Sonia?” And the article really opened my eyes!
I do not know Swamy or Sonia, and that ensures I do not take sides. Swamy and Sonia have different kinds of successes and reputation. Both have been controversial. Many educated people seem to think that Swamy is an unprincipled politician, a poor leader and a turn-coat. However I would still say that he is a nationalist and patriot first. He is a highly educated and brilliant person with a Ph.D. from the Harvard University . Unlike many top politicians in India today, he has not been prosecuted for murder, corruption etc. The cases filed against him have simply been defamation cases! That is understandable since basically he is a fighter of some sort and likes to expose ‘bad’ people in power! He knows Mandarin. He made China give access to Kailas Mansarovar in Tibet to Indian pilgrims. He was an M.P. for five terms. He protested against the Emergency. He took Jayalalitha to court on corruption charges and won the first time. A brave and courageous man indeed whatever his peculiar political peregrinations have been!
We know Sonia perhaps less. She lost her husband and took it bravely. Not a natural leader, her horoscope has made her one. Having made these comments on my own, I shall now straightaway dive into Swamy’s article on Sonia.
Swamy begins by calling Sonia a liar on three counts. (I am using Swamy and Sonia for simplicity and brevity and do not mean any disrespect to them.) Firstly, her birth certificate shows the name Antonia and not Sonia. Her late father Stefano Maino, a poor mason, joined the Nazi army and spent two years under Russian captivity when he became pro-Soviet. Sonia is a Russian name and her father started calling her Sonia. Secondly, as per Swamy, her place of birth as per her birth certificate was Luciana. However, she changed it to Orbassano in her bio-data to our Parliament since Luciana was a discredited place as it was the HQ of Fascists. Thirdly, allegedly she made a false affidavit that she had a diploma from Cambridge University whereas she learnt English from a “teaching shop” called Lennox School (now defunct) in Cambridge town. Well, I have no facts and hence cannot sit in arbitration!
Swamy says that in 1965, Sonia took the job of a waitress at Varsity Restaurant in Cambridge city. Rajiv met her there. Rajiv took loans from her as he was short of cash. Rajiv quit the tough Cambridge studies in 1966 and moved over to London . Sonia also moved to London and took a job under a Pakistani. Swamy is thus worried about her Pak-ISI connection.
Swamy refers to the steep rise in Indo-Soviet trade and defence purchases during Indira’s and Rajiv’s premierships. He says that the Swiss magazine Schweitzer Illustrierte, in the Nov. 1991 issue, stated that Rajiv had two billion American dollars in numbered Swiss Bank accounts which Sonia got after his assassination. Swamy adds that one lady expert called Dr.Yevgenia Albats, a Ph.D. from Harvard, wrote a book titled “The State within a State-The KGB in Soviet Union ” that contains Intelligence files references about the said kick-backs. The reader may do a research doctorate and come to his own conclusions!
There are some alleged misdemeanours that Sonia was guilty of. The Justice AC Gupta Commission on Maruti Co. affairs (1977) found Sonia with eight violations by infringing FERA, Company laws etc. Yet nothing happened. She enrolled herself as a voter in 1982 and 1983 although she was an Italian citizen. Swamy even says that she has had connections with terrorists! She financed some Palestinian refugees. The Maino family had deals with Saddam Hussein. The Mainos had a deal even with the LTTE, thus becoming very rich. Swamy even implies that the Mainos could be responsible for the murder of Rajiv by the LTTE. Swamy states: “..prima facie possibility that the Maino family may have contracted the LTTE to kill Rajiv..”. The reader’s disbelief is stretched to the extreme! Also, there is an allegation that the PM’s office allowed the smuggling of Indian antiques to Italyfrom where they went to London for auction.
Swamy sort of blames Sonia for the “mystery deaths” of Madhavrao Scindia, Rajesh Pilot and Jitendra Prasad. He says that Sonia’s taking the wounded Indira Gandhi first to LohiaHospital and then to AIIMS meant waste of time leading to Indira’s bleeding to death.
As per Swamy, Sonia revived her Italian citizenship in 1992. Therefore Priyanka and Rahul are technically Italian citizens and they have Italian passports too. Hence he feels that the whole family should be packed off to Italy . It looks like Swamy has gone to Courts on many of his charges.
Whatever the “truths”, Sonia’s imprint on Indian history would be much stronger than Swamy’s.
(The reader may access:
Dr.V.S.Gopalakrishnan Ph.D., IAS Retd.