Millennium Post

Tiny window with too hazy a pane

Instead we get a compilation of his ‘achievements and accolades’ during his tenure at the post. The book is divided into varied chapters that unravel this aspect of his life, apart from which there is a prologue and an epilogue.

The prologue acts as a lengthy account contextualising the different phases of India’s history simultaneously focusing on the cultural and political traditions starting from the Indus Valley civilisation to the latter part of the 20th century.

While the epilogue’s focus is on the political developments post 1989  leading up to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. Besides these, the chapters in-depth dish out the work which Gandhi accomplished or started as the PM. Chapter 2 gives a verbatim account of the varied accords that Gandhi signed, including the Punjab Accord, the Assam Accord, the Sri Lankan Accord and the Mizo Accord.

Chapter 3 focuses on the policies that he introduced in order to bring in systemic changes in areas like education, water, forest and environment, liberalisation, science and technology, panchayati raj and others. Chapter 4 encompasses the major legislations brought out during his prime ministerial phase. While the last chapter, ‘Rajiv Gandhi and the world’ is about his dealing with foreign affairs of the nation.

When I picked up this book, I thought it would give me an insight into Rajiv’s mind, beyond his prime ministerial chair and the accolades he accumulated, but alas!

This interesting bit was sorely missing. Having read other political accounts on the Gandhi family like 24 Akbar Road, Durbar and The Dynasty, this one seemed disappointing as there was so much more to Rajiv that one wants to know than his mere tenure as the PM. This book is a tiny window to through a hazy and inadequate pane into Rajiv’s big role.
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