The Accidental Prime Minister ~ Book Review
Before proceeding to the book review, there is some cautionary advice for people, who may want to read this book:
- Do NOT draw conclusions on what has been written, as it is just a memoir.
- Do NOT judge a politician by what has been written. The tenacity of our politicians and their conduct is merely a reflection of what we think about our country. (so, to get a good leader, you need to be a good citizen)
- Only Fiction lovers, back off!! This stuff is not for you, before you end up reading it and branding it as boring.
“There cannot be two centers of power. I have to accept that the party president is the center of power. The government is answerable to the party.” – an excerpt, quote unquote from the book – The Accidental Prime Minister by Sanjaya Baru (the then media advisor to erstwhile Prime Minister – Dr. Manmohan Singh)
Sometimes, what we see or what we hear may not be the truth or, the only truth. Like, Sharada Prasad’s (speech writer for late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi), excerpt from the book asserts the above, “Not only do I not know all sides of the truth, I do not even know how many sides the truth has.” In the largest diversified democracy that we live in, this book urges the reader to look at the larger picture when judging Dr Manmohan Singh’s worth as a Prime Minister and the ways he juggled a hostile opposition, an even more hostile coalition that never ceased to throw impeding curveballs and worse, and a supposedly parallel government that chose to have the last word in every important decision he took.This book is an empathetic view of Dr. Manmohan Singh as a prime minister, from the author’s perspective, who was the former’s media advisor and the chief spokesperson in UPA -1 (2004-2008). It also throws light on the many instances of the dynamic politics of India where nothing is 'the news' until the 'the fat lady sings'!
Having been ridiculed by media, the people and worse, his own party for being an indecisive Prime Minister with no authority or hold over the government he lead to victory for the second time, Dr. Singh definitely has made a lasting impression on the people of India and the media. Only, the impression is not the way he envisioned. However, my respect for him has taken an upbeat. A learned man that he is, it was his submissive approach to coexist peacefully within an uncouth coalition, that was sadly mistaken for a complacent attitude. However, now that he is out of the fray, we can just hope that his dynamic and firebrand successor NaMo delivers in his role as the Prime Minister our country deserves.
It is very easy for most of us, to sit at our homes, offices, lounges et al and say “politics! Eww! I don’t like it! I just cannot discuss it!”. We shamelessly comment on the conduct of our country's democracy, without comprehending its responsibilities and challenges. We have a tendency to discuss 'global' issues on social networking sites instead of wondering, "What have I done to improve the social, political and economical aspects of my country?" The underlying question is NOT, how many of us enjoy reading about politics and discussing it and then terming the discussions as a waste of time, BUT how many of us actually understand it? That is the question we need to ask ourselves. This book prods you to ask yourself that question!
Labels: Book reviews