Thursday, July 16, 2015

More than Being a Media Adviser

The Accidental Prime Minister : The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan SinghThe Accidental Prime Minister : The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh by Sanjaya Baru

“The Accidental Primeminister “ is a light read and even engages those who are not very much fond of politics. Who would not like to know the gossips and manipulations in the well-lit power alleys of Lutyens' Delhi! But the book offers more than that. It goes beyond the projected image of and public perception about Manmohan Singh and delves deep into the complexities of decision making process at the highest echelon of power. As it is well known that such processes are always convoluted, expedient, involving lots of risk and potential rewards, and above all often guided by politics than principle. Manmohan Singh had a more tough time because of his perceived lack of political acumen and diffident nature. Despite all this, he managed to lead the government for two full terms, first one relatively smooth than the second one. Mr. Baru served as Media Adviser at PMO in first term and hence discusses at length about the events of that time. He was also supposed to return in the second term but as hinted in the book, could not do so because of his disgruntled ex-colleagues, political leaders and ministers. Obviously being in office and working so closely with PM lends credibility to his claims and gossips and to a large extent gives us account of the behind-the-scenes of events like Nuclear Deal with USA, negotiations with Pakistan on Jammu and Kashmir. Personally, I wish that some other officers serving at that time in PMO also publish their memoir which would help us to connect the dots and make a sense of the stories untold or half told in this book.

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