Let me begin by saying how I have always admired Vir Sanghvi’s style of writing. I have followed his newspaper coloumn and am of course a follower of rude food. I personally feel that he writes what he sees, without being influenced by any extraneous considerations (though after reading his latest book, the cynicism might grow… nothing happens in our political culture without a hidden agenda!) All in all, for someone like me, who can’t really analyse political doings, motivations behind seemingly progressive actions (either for a lack of inside information or a general lack of comprehension), I have always found his views to be sensible.
Coming to the book. My first impression…whatever drove him to have a foreword by Amish?? I still haven’t figured out!
The book doesn’t really chronicle the unknown! Modern history, which all our parents would know of, and we, as children witnessed (and at that school age, never really bothered much!). But the book does point out how power hungry politicians will do anything to either come to power or stay there, at the cost of the nations progress and development. It fortifies the views of many that politics is a murky business and as most of my friends say… they would never join politics even if offered the post of the PM!
I personally felt that the book concentrates more on the Gandhi family. Apart from that, it touches the real reason behind Indira Gandhi being appointed as PM, the extension of reservation during V.P.Singh’s regime (which is a subject matter of a separate post!), the babri masjid demolition and how at that time the PM refused even the President’s calls!
It does touch a number of aspects of modern Indian history. It can be a starting point of people of my generation (I’m not old in my eyes at least! And if Rahul Gandhi represents the youth, I probably fall in the late teens category!), and the coming ones, to maybe get hooked on and do their own research and come to their own conclusions.
Okay, so I have been witness to many of the events mentioned! I did have some ‘Acha!!” moments. I personally think that the book really doesn’t answer any questions… it just highlights the events as they happened, and as I said before, leaves it to readers to dig up on their own and form their own opinions! And if a book is actually able to make you think and go further, for me, that’s quite an achievement!
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