Sonia Gandhi, born Edvige Antonia Albina Màino, was in 2004 named the third most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. It was a reflection of how far she has come in life. It was also a reflection of how, if you associate yourself with prominent families, you can literally dominate the world. As luck would have it, she found Rajiv Gandhi – it doesn’t get more illustrious and legendary than the Gandhi family…
But that’s a theory we will avoid for now and focus on the rise and rise of Sonia Gandhi.
Sonia Maino was an 18-year-old student at a small language college in Cambridge in 1965. She found it difficult to make ends meet and like her friends, she joined a Varsity restaurant as a waitress. It was during one of her days on job that she met a handsome young man, an engineering student from India and quickly realised Rajiv Gandhi held the key that would help her escape the life of anonymity and insignificance. She could live a rich life and fulfil all her dreams…
In one of her candid interviews, she said: “I had a vague idea that India existed somewhere in the world with its snakes, elephants and jungles, but exactly where it was and what it was really all about, I was not sure.” Today, India has turned out to be the best thing to happen to her, and it makes sense. Sonia Gandhi enjoys every luxury under the sun; she had at her beck and call a line of servants and caretakers to attend to her.
She married Rajiv Gandhi in 1968 and moved in with him and in-law, Indira Gandhi. From there on, there was no stopping her.
Her past still haunts her, though. She has allegedly made false claims that she was a Cambridge University scholar; Cambridge has confirmed that it has no record of her attending the university. It is often speculated that Sonia Gandhi has not studied beyond High School either.
Mrs Sonia Gandhi became eligible to register herself as a citizen of India on February 25, 1973. But, she chose to continue as an Italian citizen here.
It should also be remembered that Sonia Gandhi has actually set standards for all women across India. A bar waitress too can do whatever she wants in life. Even if one starts from the scratch they can reach peeks in life. Sonia Gandhi adopted the language Hindi, she altered her image and transformed into an Indian of a different kind. The newspaper Guardian earlier nominated her name in the “Best Dressed in the Fifty’s”