Youth Congress members protested here on Saturday against author Javier Moro for “defaming” party President Sonia Gandhi in his book, The Red Sari.

They burnt a downloaded excerpt of the book and blackened Mr. Moro's photo, Rajesh Ingle, vice-president of the northeast district Youth Congress, told The-Hindu over telephone.

“Our main objection is to the claim that his book — ‘a tale of the Nehru-Gandhi family, told through the story of Sonia Gandhi.' The author has used the term ‘fictitious biography' to describe his book in India, whereas, in Spain, Portugal and elsewhere he has said it's a biography. So, people are forced to believe what he has written as the truth. He has also used derogatory language,” Mr. Ingle said.

A youth wing press release said: “Congress workers demanded that the book should not be published in India. The script and depiction of the happenings in the life of Ms. Gandhi [are] distorted, vague and defamatory.” They threatened that they would not allow the book to be circulated anywhere in the country.

“It is perfectly alright for an author to be influenced, motivated by real life characters and take liberty to dramatise certain incidents. But this liberty should be restricted to an extent, where the image of national iconic leaders should not be tarnished and sentiments of their followers should not be hurt,” the note stated. Currently, the Congress and the publishers of the book are locked in a legal battle, Mr. Ingle said.

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