Think Indian love stories. And the Gandhi family’s love stories with unexpected twists are must to be mentioned. Today we are going to talk about Sanjay and Maneka Gandhi’s love story. Sanjay, a famous politician of the Nehru-Gandhi family, was born on December 14, 1946 to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Feroze Gandhi. During 1977-78 he was quite popular and was assumed to succeed his mother. He was also struggling to establish a career in automobile industry. While Maneka was a beautiful lady in her teens who won a college beauty contest and taking up modeling assignments.
Jab they met
Maneka’s first modeling advertisement stint was with Bombay Dyeing. And after watching the advertisement Sanjay had fallen in love with her. Sanjay was Maneka’s cousin Veenu Kapur’s school friend. The couple first met in 1973 at a cocktail party organised for Veenu’s forthcoming marriage. Maneka was 17 years old then. They spent the evening together and agreed to meet the next day. The meeting turned out memorable and the couple developed an instant liking. As Sanjay was a shy kind of person, the couple preferred meeting either in her house or in the Prime Minister’s house. A year later, Sanjay had to undergo hernia operation. After attending college Maneka used to visit him everyday in the hospital. It was the time the love bloomed.
Maneka’s mother was not happy about her daughter’s relationship with Sanjay. She considered it as a bad match and sent Maneka to her grandmother’s place in Bhopal. In July 1974, she returned and a formal engagement ceremony was organised at Prime Minister’s house, where Indira Gandhi gifted her a Tanchoi saree and a gold set. Two months after the ceremony, on September 23, 1974, the wedding took place at Indira Gandhi’s close associate and family friend Mohammed Yunus’s residence. The ceremony was a typical Indian style. She was welcomed in the Gandhi family with several expensive gifts including 21 sarees, two sets of gold jewellery, a lehenga and the most importantly, a khadi saree weaved by Jawaharlal Nehru in the jail. On March 1980, the couple was blessed with a son, Varun.
The ill-fated day
Although the couple’s marriage life was a canvas of love, it didn’t last longer. On June 23, 1980, Sanjay died in a plane crash in Delhi. Varun was just three months older then. A year later, the relationship between Maneka and Indira grew sour. Soon, Maneka and Varun left the Prime Minister’s residence. Maneka now serves as the Indian Union Cabinet Minister for Women and Child Development in the Government of PM Narendra Modi.