India is no stranger to controversies. And while some choose to speak them out, others choose to pen their minds in the form of political books that later generate enough storms to turn the entire country upside down. 2014 was no different. Here are 4 political books that created headlines (as well as plenty of controversies) in India last year.
The Accidental Prime Minister
That former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was just a puppet with Sonia Gandhi holding the strings during the UPA regime is something most Indians believe. However, the book ‘The Accidental Prime Minister-The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh’ that released during the election season last year had more than enough stuff in it to stir the Lutyens pot. The fact that the book was penned than none other than Sanjaya Baru, the Prime Ministers’s main media adviser was proof enough that whatever was in it, was very true. Among other facts, the book pointed out how a personally honest Singh was not happy by some of the members of the government and their shady dealings.
Nehru and Bose: Parallel Lives
Following a string of ‘what ifs’ in the country’s political arena, the book by Historian Rudrangshu Mukherjee aptly titled ‘Nehru and Bose: Parallel Lives’, explores how things in India would have been different if Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose had become the first Prime Ministers of independent India instead of Jawaharlal Nehru.
The book clearly details the political lives and ambitions of both individuals who also shared an inter-relationship with each other before Mohandas Gandhi entered the scene and split them up to move on different political trajectories. The book reveals how Gandhi’s favoritism towards Nehru saw a disgruntled Bose take on a totally different path towards political success and fortune, with well researched facts complementing these points perfectly.
The First Naxal: An Authorized Biography of Kanu Sanyal
Talk about a naxal, and the first images that come to your mind are knife wielding, gun trotting fighters who want a piece of the land for their own. However, there is much more to a naxal than just that as pointed out in the book ‘The First Naxal: An Authorized Biography of Kanu Sayal’ by Bappaditya Paul. The book was published in August 2014 and contained an in depth portrayal of the first ever Naxal leader, Kanu Sanyal who was instrumental in organizing 1967’s Naxalabari peasant uprising. Kanu Sayal was also one of the most prominent leaders of the CPI (ML), the first ever Naxal party. The book clearly brings out the protagonist’s version of how the Naxalite party single handedly rose to become India’s biggest internal security threat as well the nation’s biggest extra-parliamentary political force.
Gas Wars: Crony Capitalism and the Ambanis
India has been experiencing a series of money laundering scams on the public and private fronts over the past few years. While many tend to get caught by the public eye, there are few scams that have been silently eating into the nation’s economy and stifling its growth all in the name of power and personal growth.
Fortunately for us, the book titled ‘Gas Wars: Crony Capitalism and the Ambanis’ which was jointly written by Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Jyotirmoy Chaudhuri and Subir Ghiosh brought into the limelight, one such clandestine scam that had some of the most powerful people in India involved in it. The book is backed by an excellent research on the topic, and serves to highlight the looting of India as well as its resources by politicians, bureaucrats, and everyone else linked to them, under the false names of corporate social responsibility and universal growth.
The book unravels the so called Kleptocracy surrounding the nation’s gas pricing policies and has made one point crystal clear to the reader, that the concept of a self-made billionaire is ludicrous. Those who claim to be so simply let other people pay for them instead.
Many political books were published in 2014. However, the ones mentioned above were deemed the noisiest in terms of ruffling feathers and brushing a lot of political bigwigs the wrong way.