Priyanka’s husband, of course. But that is not what I am asking.
I was curious to see that a couple of days back, The Times of India carried a half page interview of Robert Vadra. For a man married into the India’s First Family, Robert has maintained a surprisingly low profile, avoiding the glare of the media that rest of the Gandhi family members have constantly been under. In the above mentioned interview, Robert Vadra comes out as a soft spoken businessman, running a small business exporting costume jewellery and handicrafts to Europe and elsewhere. He refuses to give any figures on the size of his business, but claims he employs 38 people. He also comes out as a fitness freak and a sports enthusiast, a passion he says he shares with brother in law Rahul. He claims to have never used his position as Priyanka’s husband for his personal and business’ benefit and downplays the frisking controversy since it is applicable ‘only when he is travelling with Priyanka’. (For the uninitiated, Robert Vadra has been exempted from frisking at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, a privilege available only to a select few VVVIPs like the President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of Supreme Court, Foreign Diplomats etc. ) He also claims he can win an election ‘from anywhere’ and does not rule out joining politics in future. But at present, he is happy and content running his business and spending time with his family. Click here here for the full interview.
For a man who has always been shy of the media, I do not know what the sudden provocation of giving this interview was. But the very absence of media glare on Robert should, in my opinion raise eyebrows. For a media that has often been accused of sensationalizing trivial things, Robert’s background provides enough ammunition to provide full time employment to an army of journalists.
- Robert was born to a Rajinder and Maureen. Rajinder belonged to Moradabad in U.P. while Maureen was of Scottish origin, and the family was originally called Wadhera. It is not known when and why the surname changed to Vadra.
- It is not clear whether Robert is a Christian or a Hindu. His marriage to Priyanka was carried out with Hindu rituals. But the first names of the Vadra siblings (Robert, his brother Richard and sister Michelle indicate they may have taken the religion of their mother)
- Robert was not on good terms with his family, and had disowned his father and his brother legally through a press release. He alleged they tried to misuse his name and position (as Priyanka’s husband) to seek undue favours from third parties. The claim was vehemently denied by his father who challenged him to bring even one witness to corroborate his allegations.
- In 2001, his sister Michelle died in a car accident.
- In 2003, his brother Richard was found dead in his room.
- In April 2009, just a few days before the country’s General elections, his father was found dead hanging down from a ceiling fan. His death was declared as a suicide. Surprisingly, the Indian media, so ever eager to “generate” news out of trivial nothings, completely supressed this news and never reported it. So much for a free press! Was there something that his father knew?
Even the interview mentioned above skirts all the inconvenient questions and only seeks to ask what Robert would like to answer. To me, the very secrecy surrounding Robert sounds suspicious. Will the truth ever come out?