BY Harsimran Kaur ON Feb 10 , 2022 IN BOOK REVIEWS, ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE/SAGARIKA GHOSE/NON-FICTION
The megalomania of politics is crude and pesters the noble to fight a lonely battle. From skirmishes arising due to ideological palimpsest, bitter-butter ingratiating strokes to snuggle into the melodramatic political buffoonery and creating vendettas to suit personal idiosyncrasies—politics encapsulates all! Atal Bihari Vajpayee was no different. His protracted saga of surviving for more than 4 decades was contemporaneous with being an impeccable parliamentarian and his poetic veneration of words striking the right chord with the public.
He too had inglorious experiences of thinning boots out on the streets with judgements gone wrong, and made to be sit on the pot-boiler by his opponents. But, how lonely he might have been around people he disliked or whose political chicanery he eluded, he did not let power slip from under his feet. I am in awe of Atal Bihari Vajpayee after reading the book, and a double whimsy-flossy applaud for Sagarika Ghose for bringing into light a doyen – fortunate to be fortuitously fenneled in the formidable walls of the parliament.
An aficionado in Hindi language and poetry, a minister of parlance—his fundaism to conjure away the blemishes of radical Hinduism and relish on secular treats made him a snoot wolf in front of the RSS, though he could never part ways with his alma mater.
The book is about him and for him. His journey to the reigns of being a Prime Minister was a chiaroscuro of ebullience and dejection. The toils were Sisyphean, and ambiguities carried a deliquescent broth of repeated failures and denigration. He had his morals well-placed and was strategically attuned to the minds of Nehru and Mookerjee; though both gentlemen lived life with different strands. This shows how Vajpayee sublimated himself to yolk in the boundaries of beliefs promulgated by people he looked upon to.
Kargil war made Vajpayee the man India wanted to lead. He became the Prime Minister with élan and poise. He was a man of ambitions and did not falter if tricked by a deprecating stone. Truly defined as a liberal statesman, he believed that success is attained not by rigid ideologies but by good governance.
From the hard-wired impulses of Ayodhya dispute to the pummelling opprobrium in the aftermath of Gujarat riots, and conspicuously advocating the belongingness of Kashmir to the indefatigable spirit of resuming the peace progress with Pakistan, Vajpayee presented himself as self-advocating messiah. His heated polemics in the parliament made him a man of steel with sharpened edges to cut-off the bad pennies.
A book at its humorous best with fastidious detailing and facts never known!
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