I picked this book due to my recently developed interest in Indian politics. Mandate: Will of the People by Vir Sanghvi is a political non-fiction (Published by Westland Books). It is based on author's personal memories, and experience, and the interviews he had conducted.
The book deals with the history of Indian politics. It's like a journey carrying the striking revelations, covering the time-frame of 1971 to 2014.
It tries to answer few striking questions about Indian politics like: 'How did Narsimha Rao become Prime Minister of India? 'Why Sonia Gandhi didn't agree to become Prime Minister?' 'What was the Ram Mandir agitation really about?'
The book discusses the declaration of emergency, and its effect. Status of Sanjay Gandhi in Indian politics. Assassination of Indira Gandhi, and the riots that followed. The factors that declare Manmohan Singh a weak Prime Minister, and how it cleared the way for PM Narendra Modi.
The book reveals the surprising facts about the personality of Indira Gandhi. For me it was interesting to know. I liked the excerpts of I K Gujral's interview that the author had conducted (I really liked the way he tackled Sanjay Gandhi at the crucial time of Emergency).
The most problematic thing about this book was its writing style. I have read 'Rude food', a weekly column by the author in HT Brunch. But, writing-wise, there is no reflection of crisp Rude Food in the book. Sometimes, I wondered if the book was actually written by Vir Sanghvi. It somehow seems like a reported special feature that we often see on news channels. The font style (And size) was disturbing.
The best thing about this book is that it is fast-paced. Even if you are not interested in politics, it can be a quick read for you!
Overall, the book is a decent attempt. It is for those who are interested in Indian politics, especially who don't know much. If you're interested in Indian politics, it can be an interesting read for you. If you don't know much about the history of Indian politics, it can be informative and enlightening. But, the book has nothing new to offer to those who keep tab on Indian politics.
I truly thank Writer's Melon for sending the review copy for an honest review!