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The bedroom photos
The sexplicit pictures used by Maneka Gandhi in Surya magazine.
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HTTabloid » DareBareIndians »Suresh-Sushma scandal  
Suresh's porno pranks
Lurid pics of Jagjivan Ram's son copulating with a DU student made it to the magazine Surya.
Players in the sexcapade
The list is a veritable who's who - from Maneka Gandhi to Janata Party members
Errant Sons

Many a son spelt the doom of their parents' careers in the seventies - among them Morarjee Desai's son Kanti Desai, Sanjay Gandhi and of course Jagjivan Ram's son , Suresh Ram..

Behind the scenes
Insiders who saw the story unfolding from close quarters give a blow by blow account.
Head Turner Sushma
Sushma's ardent admirers swear by her looks. To them, she was simply the best.
A tale of sex and politics
The sex scandal was a political vendetta against Jagjivan Ram & spelt his doom.

The pics were taken by Raj Narain to Morarji Desai who saw them and remarked in disgust: "Kya hai yeh. Ise le jao mere saamne se"

"An emissary came from Jagjivan Ram's office with a message. Mr Ram says he will dump Morarji bhai and join IG if the photos are not published. Mrs Gandhi said: First ask him to dump Morarji". more »

Khushwant Singh, journalist, writer & political analyst

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Maneka goes to town with bedroom photos

Vijaya Sharma

In 1978, Surya magazine editor Maneka Gandhi shocked the nation by publishing the photos of Defence Minister Jagjivan Ram's son making love to a Delhi University student.

The nine self-timed photos, which Suresh Ram, 40, took as he copulated with Sushma Choudhry, were snatched from his car and passed on, among others, to journalists including Gandhi and National Herald Editor Kushwant Singh.

Singh, who was also helping Gandhi in editing the magazine, thought the photos were explicit. Recently he recalled: "If the Kamasutra has 64 poses, that one certainly had 10."

Gandhi, however, felt that she could make a political killing for her mother-in-law, Indira Gandhi, by publishing them. The Indira Gandhi-led Congress was then fighting to win back power from the Janata Party Government in which Jagjivan Ram was a top minister.

So, at the risk of running into obscenity and privacy laws, the photos were put up for printing with orders to the staff to show all but the most objectionable parts. "We had to use a lot of tape," Singh remembered.

Indeed, when the magazine hit the stands, reactions were intense and varied:

Surya sales climbed. Maneka Gandhi had to order at least three reprints to meet the demands for its copies.

Reprints of the original photos found their way into the market. In New Delhi's Chandni Chowk, copies of the photos were sold for Rs 50. Photo discounts were offered to well connected at New Delhi's Tis Hazari session courts …Price: Rs 25. In Bombay, some businessmen even used them as sales incentives… buy one and get one free!

The journalist community was in a tizzy. Though the photos made it to the private collection of many reporters, at work none of them was willing to be seen with the photos. (At Hindustan Times, an extreme crop of the photo was used to tell the Surya story. The photos were bought from the market and kept with the office administrator in strict confidence. Later, the photos were "removed from the office without leaving a trace".)

The publication sparked off massive debates, especially on journalistic ethics and breach of privacy.

The biggest fallout was, however, political. Jagjivan Ram, who was tipped to be the next prime minister, stood politically crushed.

© Hindustan Times Ltd. 2002.
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