Sunday, July 26, 2015

Durbar by Tavleen Singh

Image result for durbar by tavleenDurbar's literal translation in English is a royal courtyard. The durbar which the author refers to here is not of some Mughal or Mauryan emperor but this is the durbar of a post British monarchy which over the last seven decades has been the most powerful in South East Asia, the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.

The author Tavleen Singh, belonged to a rich Sikh family but she claims that she wasn't content with being simply one of the privileged class, she yearned to do something with her life and took up journalism as a profession. At a time when we had fewer and fewer women at workplace, Tavleen decided to challenge the glass ceiling by becoming a journalist. The book acts as a conduit for Tavleen's journey as a journalist and the rise and rise of India's first family. Tavleen's access to the rich and powerful through her profession and her circle of high society friends provide fodder for political and social gossip which is the basis of her book.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Accidental Prime Minister by Sanjay Baru

Image result for the accidental prime ministerIn 2004, when Dr. Manmohan Singh ascended to become Prime Minister of India, the most powerful position in South East Asia it was not only a surprise for his supporters and detractors but a pleasant surprise for the man himself.  ManMohan Singh edged out men like Pranab Mukherjee, Arjun Singh and other sly and seasoned politicians to rule India for the next decade. The author, Sanjay Baru, was then Media adviser to the PM. He served the Prime Minister in UPA 1 and thus claims to have a close working relationship with Manmohan and had intricate details about the workings and Politics of UPA.

ManMohan Singh is a world renowned erudite, whose work in economics is unparalleled. He along with PV Narasimha Rao were the architect of the modern Indian economy and responsible for opening up India to the free market. Manmohan Singh's legacy was already sealed but he got the opportunity to lead India in 2004, when Sonia Gandhi, an Italian waitress who married into the most powerful family in India, and become the leader of Congress Party by virtue of her marriage to the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family decided to rule India through a proxy.