Indira Gandhi was very popular in the Soviet Union. Source: Public Domain
Indira Gandhi had a very large fan following on the Soviet Union, with Moscow even building a square and a monument in her honour. She is still admired by members of the Russian intelligentsia, including poet Sergey Sashin, who has written ‘Indira,’ a musical based on the life of India’s first and only female prime minister till date.
Sashin describes the work as “a music and drama fantasy based on the biography of Indira Gandhi.” He is now looking to rope in one of the world’s greatest composers for the project - A.R. Rahman.
“We met A.R. Rahman,” Sashin told RIR. “He liked the idea and expressed his interest towards this project. To be more precise, he called it ‘grand.’ But we’re still in the earliest stage of negotiations.”
An admirer of Indira Gandhi for decades, Sashin wants people from his generation to revisit their youth when watching the musical.
“Those days Indira Gandhi was the embodiment of India in general and Soviet-Indian friendship in particular,” he says. “Her 100th birth anniversary will be marked this year and I have planned the premier to coincide with this date.” She was born on Nov. 19, 1917.
“It is quite a complicated play, but it is full of kindness. I would describe it with a popular phrase ‘Hindi-Russi Bhai-Bhai,’” Sashin adds.
The play will also characterize other well-known leaders.
“There will be a separate scene dedicated to Leonid Brezhnev’s visit to India,” the poet says. Another eminent character to be featured in the musical is Alexander Kadakin, a beloved diplomat, who served as Russia’s Ambassador to India until his death on Jan. 26, 2017.
“In the play, we encounter a young diplomat and the interpreter of Brezhnev, Alexander Kadakin,” Sashin says.
The Russian poet recently gave a copy of the musical’s script to Varun Gandhi, Indira’s grandson, who received Sashin at his home. It is unclear whether the script has been passed on Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.