🇮🇹 🇮🇳Sonia Gandhi: one of the most powerful Italian women in the world

Did you know that one of the most powerful women in the world is Italian?

Her name is Sonia Gandhi (neè Maino) she was born in the province of Vicenza in 1946 and got married with Rajiv Gandhi, son of the first woman Prime Minister Indira Gandhi (PM 1966- 1977) and grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru, the 1st Indian Prime Minister (PM from 1946–1964).

What I found very very interesting is that while in India they often talk about her as being Italian… in Italy we barely know her story. So here you are.

Sonia met Rajiv Gandhi in Cambridge while they were both there to study. The got married in 1968 and moved to India. When Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984, Rajiv was named prime minister but he also got assassinated in 1991. Sonia was immediately offered the leadership of the Congress Party but she rejected. However in 1998 she agreed to become president of the then struggling Indian National Congress.

In 2004 she was very close to become India’s prime minister, however, in a famous declaration she said:

“The post of prime minister has not been my aim. I was always certain that, if ever I found myself in the position I am in today, I would follow my inner voice. Today that voice tells me I must humbly decline the post.”

The pressure on her was high also because she was born in Italy. After rejecting the post she invited the economist Manmohan Singh to serve as prime minister becoming de facto the person making decisions behind the scenes.

In 2019 party leaders asked Sonia Gandhi to take over as interim president until a consensus candidate could be picked.

As of now Sonia Gandhi, born in a small Italian village, is leading the opposition of the biggest democracy in the world.

Pretty impressive right?

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Alessandro Cannas

Alessandro Cannas

🌀 Growth Marketing Manager at Google · Studied Management at Bocconi University · Worked as Photojournalist in Italy. Writes about Tech, Marketing & more.