Friday, 3 April 2015

Book Review Mandate: Will of the People by Vir Sanghvi

Book Review Mandate: Will of the People by Vir Sanghvi

*Publisher: Westland Ltd *ISBN: 978-93-84030-39-1 *Publication Year: 2015 *No of Pages: 137 *Cover: Paperback *Language: English *Genre: Non-Fiction/Politics *Price: 195 *Rating: 3.5/5

My View:

First of all I have never read Vir Sanghvi, but often heard him on National television and got to know that he is one of the best journalists of India. So when I got mail to review his book Mandate, I was very quick to apply it even though Politics is not my taste, but I thought lets try it because this book is written by veteran journalist Vir Sanghvi.

Now what does Mandate means, its assigning authority to particular person. Actually, this is very decent read (in very few pages) but without much detail, this book will be helpful for those who are interested in Indian politics and its history after independence. Each and every major event which shaped Indian politics is covered in this book like why did Indira Gandhi declared Emergency, demolition of Babri Masjid, what exactly bofors deal was? Militancy in Punjab, assassination of Indira Gandhi and riots that followed, Why Sonia Gandhi refused to become Prime Minister etc.

While reading the book I came to know that one of the most powerful women of Indian history, Indira Gandhi was not even able to read her first few speeches properly in her initial 2 years of politics, also a veteran opposition leader Ram Manohar Lohia described Indira Gandhi as “Gungi Gudiya” a mere dumb doll, but she was much more powerful lady what opposition thought. Also came to know that Indira Gandhi was a follower of Karl Marx.

Many unknown events which Indian public doesn’t know are very well described by the author.

* Some of the eye opening events:

1. At the time of Emergency home minister was also uninformed.
2. A good agenda by Rajiv Gandhi of not to break India, won the election of 1984. Rather it was a massive victory of Congress.
3. The selection of P V Narsimha Rao as a Prime Minister.
4. I K Gujaral’s taunting (mind your language while talking with elders) words to Sanjay Gandhi and on other day Sanjay Gandhi forced Gujaral for resignation.

This entire book covers major events which shaped Indian politics. This book is very well researched, informative and insightful. I highly recommend reading it.


Vir Sanghvi, the well-known journalist and TV anchor, draws on his personal experiences and memories as well as scores of interviews to piece together an incisive and candid account of what went on behind the scenes. Peppered with little-known details and insider information, this book tells the stories behind the story and brings alive the men and women behind the headlines.

Mandate: Will of the People contains the real story of the declaration of the Emergency, the rise and fall of Sanjay Gandhi, the Punjab insurgencies, the assassination of Indira Gandhi and the bloddy riots that followed her death. It tracks the emergences of Rajiv Gandhi, and explains the Bofors scandal that contributed to this defeat.

Many of the questions that linger over Indian politics are answered here: how did Narasimha Roa become Prime Minister? Why did he liberalise the economy? What was the Ram Mandir agitation really about? Why didn’t Sonia Gandhi agree to be PM? And how did Manmohan Singh’s weakness clear the way for Narendra Modi.

If you have to read one book about Indian politics - then this is it.