Surrounded by controversies, Priya Singh Paul, the alleged daughter of the late Sanjay Gandhi, has gone public about her legal battle to get her adoption papers and birth certificate. While the mystery about her biological mother continues, in a conversation with The Sunday Guardian, Paul revealed that she has had no contact with any known member of the Gandhi family, nor will she change her name even if it is officially proven that she is a descendant of the Gandhi family.
In a terse reply, Paul said, “I am a proud Singh Paul. I am fighting for my adoption papers not because I have any materialistic or political ambitions. This is about justice. I already know what the truth is.”
Speaking about why she chose to oppose Indu Sarkar, an upcoming movie based on the 1975 Emergency period which was imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Paul said, “I have a very strong belief in scriptures and scriptures teach us about ‘Pitrapaksh’. I am opposing the unfair portrayal of my family members because as a daughter, it is my obligation to stand against the misinformation that threatens the legacy of my father and my grandmother. I have to register my protest against this film because I know that they are my family members. If I wait for the court to confirm my lineage and then criticise this film, then it puts my conviction in question. ”
Paul’s lawyer Tanveer Nizam said, “We had only sent a letter requesting director Madhur Bhandarkar to let us see the film. A week later, we find that the letter is in the media. Our legal battle was going on for Ms Paul’s adoption papers and birth certificate. The issue of the movie came in between, but she chose to oppose it. ”
Commenting on the dialogue that has also been criticised by several Congress leaders—“Sarkarein chabuk se chalti hai….”—that has come out in the trailer of the movie, Paul said, “In the trailer we see that the actor playing the role of Sanjay Gandhi says this dialogue and then we see a woman getting whipped. This is wrong. I know he could never have said it. He was not this kind of a leader.”
Questioned about her personal views on the Emergency, Paul said, “I think Indira Gandhi knew what she was doing. She was the leader of the nation and did what she deemed necessary. Today, Narendra Modi is our Prime Minister and whatever decisions he is taking for the people, we should trust them. I support Modi’s policies and his government.”
Clarifying about the identity of Paul’s biological mother, Tanveer Nizam, Paul’s lawyer, said, “We have no definite information about the mother. We are hopeful that people will come forward and contribute some information on this.”
Sharing the series of events around the legal battle to get her adoption papers and birth certificate, Nizam, said, “We have not been able to get her papers yet. Two investigation officers have been changed in the process. The court had to send directives to the DCP to look into the matter. We had to go through all this because two adoption agencies told us two different stories about Ms Paul’s adoption.”
Clarifying about the identity of Paul’s biological mother, Nizam said, “We have no definite information about the mother. We are hopeful that people will come forward and contribute some information on this.”
Priya Singh Paul was the former Additional Director General during the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in New Delhi and has also worked as Head Consultant Business and Programming in Zee Entertainment Enterprises.
She had graduated from Miranda House in 1990 and did her masters in media studies from the Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi.
She has also been part of the Emerging Leaders and Governance programme at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Paul identifies herself as a political analyst and a writer, and has a 13-year-old son. Her family is based here, while her husband’s business is based abroad.