Book Review – Mandate: Will of the People by Vir Sanghvi
Mandate: Will of the People is a simple book that tells the story of Indian politics in a gripping style that will surely appeal to people who love light-reading. Let’s be frank. This book carries no out-of-the-box, never-told-before factoid that will take the country by storm. Any fan of Indian non-fiction and political writing would already know of the events chronicled here. Yet, the nuanced ‘story-telling’ adds to the charm of revisiting the history of modern India.
Vir Sanghvi, a well-known columnist, has relied on his own experiences and memories to pen down the last few decades in Indian political spectrum. He has also relied on the various interviews to chronicle a candid account of the back room power games and the political action that hardly met the public eye. This book tells brings alive the men and women behind the headlines.
Mandate weaves together several important landmarks in post-modern India history from the declaration of the Emergency to the rise and fall of Sanjay Gandhi. It takes you through the Punjab insurgencies, the assassination of Indira Gandhi and the bloody riots that followed. The book also deals with Rajiv Gandhi’s legacy as PM and the cacophony of alliance-politics thereafter. From the prime ministership of PV Narsimha Rao to the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation to the very recent denouncement of PM-ship by Sonia Gandhi – it all finds place between the covers.
Mandate is not the best book on Indian politics. Vir Sanghvi’s lucid style of writing and personal touch works positively for the book. It would be a good medium of initiating the uninterested, 2-minutes noodles crazy Generation Y to the tales of our country that do not find a place in history text books yet. It is essential for the future generations to know the history of modern India, specially after the emergency, Sanghvi does justice to the cause.
My Rating: 3/5 stars
P.S. – Thank you Writers Melon for the review copy of the book.
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