Ever since Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced his retirement (not that people expected him to return for a third term) there has been a deluge of tell-tall books that vow to bare it all – expose the crimes of Congress, lay bare the spinelessness of Dr Singh and put on pedestal the respective authors who were wronged by the corrupt and inept governance of the grand old party of India. Natwar Singh’s book treads the same path, only faring worse than the other authors in being soporific, dull and absolutely trashy.
Natwar Singh, born in an aristocrat family, a seasoned bureaucrat and a former Union Minister, led a colourful life (or so he wants us to belief). The dull prose and dead language the fill the pages of 400-odd page memoir hardly offer any credence to his claim. From the sloppy chapters on his childhood (why would I care to know if he ran away from his school and spent 30 days at his friends’ house in Delhi?) o the unimaginative years he spent as India’s representatives in countries like Zambia (diplomatic coup, I say!), Natwar Singh’s narration would put a kindergarten kid to shame.
He claims to have shared close connections with the Gandhi family, but for a major part of the memoir, his references to the family or any major event related to them, have been wrapped up in no less than a paragraph, with hardly any insight! Most of the experiences he shared obviously portray him as the man Friday of the family! At times you start feeling Natwar Singh was the best Prime Minister India never had, such is the adulatory tone of the man, clearly in love with himself, more than anything else in the world!
Towards the end of the book, he is critical of Sonia Gandhi (for obvious reasons) and exonerates himself in the Volcker scam (is it a coincidence that his son is in the BJP, now?). One life may not be enough for Mr Singh, but one book sure is for the readers.
My Rating: 2/5 stars
P.S. This review is part of Flipkart’s Bloggers’ Affiliate Programme
DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Image Have Their Respective Copyrights