In­dian woman claims to be Indira Gandhi’s grand­daugh­ter

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

An In­dian woman who claims to be the se­cret grand­daugh­ter of the mur­dered for­mer prime min­is­ter Indira Gandhi has gone to court to block a new Bol­ly­wood movie that she says shows the dy­nasty in a bad light. Priya Singh Paul, 48, told a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day she had been adopted as a baby and only told af­ter she grew up that her bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther was Indira’s el­dest son San­jay, who died in a plane crash in 1980. She is fight­ing a le­gal bat­tle for ac­cess to her birth cer­tifi­cate and adop­tion pa­pers, but said she de­cided to make her claim public af­ter watch­ing a trailer for the up­com­ing “Indu Sarkar”.

The movie deals with the con­tro­ver­sial state of emer­gency im­posed by Indira Gandhi in 1975, a pe­riod of deep un­rest which saw civil lib­er­ties be­ing sus­pended across the coun­try. “The film is 70 per­cent fic­tion and 30 per­cent fact. I can’t stay quiet if some­body points a fin­ger at my fa­ther or grand­mother,” said Paul in New Delhi. “I am not ashamed, I am not afraid. I am not af­ter power, wealth or prop­erty. I just want to estab­lish my iden­tity and pro­tect my fam­ily name which is be­ing sul­lied.” No one in the Gandhi fam­ily has com­mented pub­licly on Paul’s claim, which be­gan to emerge in the me­dia over the last few weeks.

Indira Gandhi was the daugh­ter of Jawa­har­lal Nehru, the first prime min­is­ter of in­de­pen­dent In­dia. She had two sons-San­jay and Ra­jiv Gandhi, whose widow So­nia cur­rently heads the op­po­si­tion Congress Party. The Nehru-Gandhi dy­nasty has pro­vided three prime min­is­ters and the Congress has dom­i­nated In­dian pol­i­tics since in­de­pen­dence. Paul says her mother mar­ried San­jay Gandhi in se­cret be­cause she was un­der­age and was later made to give her up for adop­tion. She was brought up by a wealthy cou­ple who did not know her iden­tity but started mak­ing en­quiries when a fam­ily friend told her that she de­scended from the pow­er­ful po­lit­i­cal fam­ily. Her lawyer Tan­veer Nizam said they would seek the court’s per­mis­sion to con­duct a DNA test. “Indu Sarkar” is di­rected by the award-win­ning Madhur Bhandarkar and is slated for re­lease later this month. — AFP

Priya Singh Paul al­leges that she is the se­cret grand­daugh­ter of the mur­dered for­mer prime min­is­ter Indira Gandhi. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.