Javier Moro, author of El Sari Rojo, Planeta, Spanish, 2008, which will be published in English as The Red Sari, writes:
In view of the alarming reaction to the impending publication of The Red Sari in India, I would like to categorically state that it was never my intention to bruise the feelings of Ms Gandhi, her relatives or the members of the Congress Party. Readers can attest to the sympathetic and elegiac portrayal of Sonia Gandhi and her relatives in my book. It was never my intention to circumvent or violate Mrs. Gandhi's right to privacy, but because of my lack of access to her, I was compelled to resort to previously published accounts and rely upon interviews conducted with old acquaintances, neighbours and friends. Additionally, in order for the readers to comprehend the magnitude of the narrative, I had to weave the Gandhi family saga along with her inspiring personal story. And thus eventually I settled into a fictionalised version, as opposed to a hard-fact biography. On several occasions before and after the writing, I tried to contact members of the family so that errors and inaccuracies would be corrected before publication. And I still would welcome their future contribution. In spite of the fact that the Spanish edition backcover clearly states that it is a fictionalisation, I agreed to comply with the following disclaimer:
“This is a novel based on the story of Sonia Gandhi and the Nehru family. Neither Sonia Gandhi nor any member of her family has provided information or has collaborated in this book. Dialogues, conversations and situations found therein are the product of the author's own interpretation and do not necessarily reflect authenticity.”
This addendum appears prominently in all new editions of the book in the first page in bold characters. Apart from our discrepancies, I want to reinstate that it has always been my concern to portray Ms Gandhi and her family in accordance with the sacrifices and contributions made by them to the ideals of secularism, freedom and equality in India, an example that serves as a beacon to the rest of the world.
And it is my regret that the book, without being properly read, is being manipulated by those whose intention is to harm the family's ideals, which are shared by me.