Politics is one topic that stirs up discussion among people. Be it a tea stall or a corporate office, people can be seen involved in casual political discussions. Whatever information is available through print and electronic media becomes their view regarding political figures and parties. For that reason, when Vir Sanghvi’s Mandate: Will of the People was launched, readers looked for something different and informative.
The book successfully throws light on personalities and pulls off the haze weaved around them. Not only that, the book provides an insight into the political events and covers the time-frame from 1971 to 2014.
The book talks about Indira Gandhi’s role as well as that of Manmohan Singh and how his weakness as a PM paved the way for Narendra Modi’s rise to power. It is useful for those looking for a rational introduction to Indian politics. Many people have not been able to grasp Indian politics. Perhaps, there is a lack of information on this subject. But this book by Sanghvi clears all doubts and is quite informative. This book effectively provides clarifications about historical events and issues or scams such as the Bofors issue, the reality behind the Ram Janmabhoomi case, the particulars behind Operation Black Thunder and also the background of the Mandal case. Concise information on these issues brings out the reality efficiently. The book provides information about various events in a very crisp manner.
Published by Westland, Sanghvi’s book uncovers the layers of dynastic politics, provides the reader sufficient reasons to believe that Narasimha Rao was certainly a demonstrative PM and also the secrets of how Zail Singh made Rajiv Gandhi adhere to the protocols. The book gives the reader an extensive idea about how Indians have been sanctifying their politicians for more than fifty years. And it’s even necessary to read and understand all past mandates as their effect is felt in present times as well.
The title of the book gives a perceptive description about the general elections. Lesser-known facts are presented to help the reader form an unbiased view. Declaration of the emergency, the Punjab riots, the assassination of Indira Gandhi, the story of Sanjay Gandhi, and other issues are discussed.
I also liked this book because the political history penned here is not chained to political correctness. Recent Indian political history is presented on the basis of Vir Sanghvi’s memories, interviews and personal experiences. Sanghvi even agrees to his earlier assessment about Narasimha Rao as wrong because he wrote that Rao was a small-time manipulator. However, Sanghvi admits that he was wrong as Narasimha Rao was a very big manipulator.
The book covers many unfamiliar events which the Indian people wouldn’t know. Some of those eye-opening actions like the home minister was not informed about the declaration of Emergency; Rajiv Gandhi’s victory in the 1984 election, which was also a huge and massive victory for Congress; selection of P V Narasimha Rao as Prime Minister; and I K Gujaral’s snide comment to Sanjay Gandhi (mind your language when you talk to elders) and then the next day Sanjay Gandhi forced Gujaral to resign, are mentioned.
This book satisfies the ones looking for an in-depth knowledge of Indian politics and its history after independence. The author takes up incidents and issues that were not discussed earlier and this makes it different. Snippets such as Nehru not wanting Indira Gandhi to become the Prime minister and her hesitation while delivering her first speech are worth mentioning.
This whole book covers key events which formed Indian politics. The author has beautifully penned the Indian political history in a very crisp manner. Very well-researched and enlightening, this book deserves a 4.5 on a scale of 5. I would highly recommend reading it.