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

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Subjective Narration of the Indira Gandhi Years

The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years by Pranab Mukherjee (New Delhi, India: Rupa Publications), 2015; pp x + 321, Rs 595.

All narrations of “current” history, even by onlookers, are subjective. This is more so when the narration is by one of the actors in that history, and it becomes an effort to present the narration, and the narrator, in better light (for posterity and history).

The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years is the first of a triology by Pranab Mukherjee, now President of India, covering the period 1970–80 (a part of the Indira Gandhi era which began in 1966 and ended in 1984 with her assassination). It is “a retelling of India’s political history as I have experienced it”, says Mukherjee (p ix, Preface). He was a member of the Indira Gandhi government (council of ministers) during the Emergency; he was part of the group around her in her fight to regain control of the Congress Party after the defeat in the 1977 Lok Sabha elections (splitting the party anew, the second time in her era); and in her success (as leader of what was then known as Indira Congress) in the 1980 Lok Sabha elections and becoming prime minister again.

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