ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Window to a Crisis-Ridden Period

Left of Centre: Kamal Morarka in Parliament edited by Lina Mathias (New Delhi: Rupa Publications), 2013; pp xviii + 267, Rs 495.

The work under review is a compilation of some of the speeches of an astute and sensitive politician, Kamal Morarka, in Parliament during his term as a member of Rajya Sabha from 1988 to 1994. These speeches reflect a “…concern for the ordinary citizen’s problems when he or she deals with the state…” and this being the case for one with substantial business interests is remarkable. He spoke with authority on a range of topics “…from the Rent Control Bill to Kashmir to Delhi University, tax reforms and the public sector” (pp xiii-xiv). The table (p xvi) shows that a majority of his speeches were on economic matters with a focus on finance.

Morarka was a follower of the socialist leader and Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar. His nationalist leanings were perhaps due to his family’s association with the Congress from before independence. He was influenced by socialist ideas due to his association with people like, Acharya Narendra Dev, Ram Manohar Lohia and Jayaprakash Narayan. Perhaps that is what sensitised him to the plight of the common man.

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