Sonia Gandhi turned 70 today. She has not only been the longest serving head of the powerful Congress party, but is also a part of the strongest leaders in the world. Some can’t stop praising her for standing by the Gandhi family and the party and some criticize her for several reasons, but no one can ignore the Italian woman who entered Indian politics and stayed through, proving her own merit. A true leader in all her endeavours, here is a small glimpse into her life:

  • Born in 1946 in the town of Turin in Italy, she studied English in Cambridge University where she met Rajiv Gandhi and both fell in love.
  • She came to India in 1968 with Rajiv Gandhi. She settled in a new country and into a completely different lifestyle with the illustrious Gandhi family without any hiccups. She was raised as a Roman Catholic.
  • She learnt the Hindi language and imbibed Indian culture in herself like no other. She observed and learnt from the ways of her mother-in-law, Indira Gandhi.
  • She truly entered politics after the pillars of the Congress party fell through — Indira Gandhi died in 1984 and her husband, Rajiv Gandhi, in 1991.
  • The Congress party insisted that Sonia join politics and threatened to fall apart if she did not. Her influence on the party has been irreplaceable.

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  • Sonia stood her ground in the face of criticism that came from across the country — for her foreign origin and accent in which she spoke Hindi. She still receives flak for it in equal measure.
  • She pushed the party out of troubled times to victory in 2009, rejected the Prime Minister’s position and appointed Manmohan Singh to run the country.
  • Her stronghold and political intelligence comes with no studious knowledge, but pure wisdom and observation.
  • Her contribution to the betterment of the country involves the Right to Information Act, Right to Education for all, food security to poor and maintenance of the secular outlook of the country.
  • No one thought that she would one day lead the Congress party, but she did and that too for longer than any of the Gandhis have.

Picture credit- News X