BOOK REVIEW – MANDATE: WILL OF THE PEOPLE

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Title : Mandate : Will of the people
Author : Vir Sanghvi
Publisher : Westland Ltd.
Genre : Non-fiction

THE AUTHOR

Probably one of the best- known Indian journalist Vir Sanghvi became the youngest editor in the history of journalism when appointed editor of Bombay Magazine at the young age of 22. His journey from then on in the realm of journalism has been remarkable. From 1994 to 2004 he held the post of Editor of the Hindustan Times one India’s leading dailies. Later on he went on to become the Editorial Director of the daily, a post he held till 2007. He continued his association with paper even after 2007 as columnist and advisor. Not one to be tied down to the desk alone, Vir Sanghvi has made a mark of his own in the visual media too. His television career includes several award- winning shows on Star TV Network, NDTV, etc. Mandate : Will Of The People is just one of the many books he has penned. Some of his best- sellers are ‘Men of Steel’, ‘Rude Food And Drink’, Madhavrao Scindia A Life. ‘Rude Food And Drink’ won Sanghvi the Cointreau Prize for the Best Food Literature Book in the world.

THE BOOK

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BLURB

This is the first easy-to-read book about recent Indian political history. Pegged on the general elections that shaped today’s India, Mandate: Will of the People tells the story of Indian politics in a gripping, page-turning style.

Vir Sanghvi, the well-known journalist and TV anchor, draws on his personal experiences and memories as well as scores of interviews to piece together an incisive and candid account of what went on behind the scenes. Peppered with little-known details and insider information, this book tells the stories behind the story and brings alive the men and women behind the headlines.

Mandate: Will of the People contains the real story of the declaration of the Emergency, the rise and fall of Sanjay Gandhi, the Punjab insurgencies, the assassination of Indira Gandhi and the bloody riots that followed her death. It tracks the emergence of Rajiv Gandhi and explains the Bofors scandal that contributed to his defeat.

Many of the questions that linger over Indian politics are answered here: how did Narasimha Rao become Prime Minister? Why did he liberalise the economy? What was the Ram Mandir agitation really about? Why didn’t Sonia Gandhi agree to be PM? And how did Manmohan Singh’s weakness clear the way for Narendra Modi.

WHAT I FELT ABOUT THE BOOK

Content: Insightful. Though I’ve been witness to some of the atrocities committed by the Indira Gandhi regime during the Emergency as a child, I was not aware of some of the facts mentioned by the author in the book. They were a revelation. Another thing that I found interesting is the insight into the weaknesses/ unknown traits of some of the well known figures in Indian politics. Smt. Indira Gandhi’s oratory skills have won her many a fan both within and outside the country but how many of us are aware that in the beginning years of her political career she was anything but charismatic. Mandate lets us in into her complete makeover from a dumb doll or ‘gungi gudiya’ to a woman of steel, a charismatic figure who could wow her audience with her oratory skills, determination and poise. The book in fact, takes us on a virtual tour of the Indian political scenario right from the time Mrs. Gandhi stepped into politics till the fall of the UPA Government in 2014.

Apart from the revelation regarding Mrs. Gandhi, there are other interesting facts too that come to light in the pages of this book, facts that the ordinary Indian citizen is unaware of like Lal Bahadur Sastri’s hatred for Mrs. Gandhi, a group of leftists being Mrs. Gandhi’s most important advisors, Narasimha Rao’s (then Home Minister of India) reaction to Mr. Chandrasekhar’s taking in a Sikh boy under his protection in the aftermath of Mrs. Gandhi’s assassination, Rao’s sinister behaviour after the demolition of the Babri Masjid, Manmohan Singh’s changed attitude after being sworn in as Prime Minister for the second time, etc…..

In short, the book is an answer to many a question lingering in the mind of the common man. It deals with the various critical situations the country has faced in the past, the whims and fancies of some of our political figures, the scams that have rocked parliament and burnt a hole in our economy, the jittery attitude of some of the bosses at the helm when faced with crises, etc. There is a lot packed in there, in just 130 odd pages.

Language: Simple, crisp and lucid making the narrative easy to read and understand.

WRAPPING UP

Recommendation & Rating: Overall an interesting read, I’ll give this 4 on a scale of 5.

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I thank the author Mr.Vir Sanghvi and Writersmelon for being kind enough to send me a copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review.

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Mandate: Will of the People

Buying Links

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Do let me know you’ve been here. Leave your views/ suggestions in the comment box below.

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