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

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The Disruptor Who Ignited Hope for the Marginalised

The Disruptor: How Vishwanath Pratap Singh Shook India by Debashish Mukerji, HarperCollins Publishers India, 2021; pp 584, `699.

Political biographies are essential reading to understand the circumstances in relation to the decisions taken by a leader. It becomes more important if the decisions of the leader affect the entire politics of the nation. Vishwanath Pratap Singh has been one of the most vilified political leaders of India since 7 August 1990 after his government accepted the recommendations of the Mandal Commission report related to job reservations in the union government services and decided to implement it. India never witnessed that much of polarisation in its social and political life post independence as during this short period when Singh was the Prime Minister of the country. Though his government was short-tenured, Singh is considered to be one of the most iconic and impactful leaders in Indian political history whose decisions altered the landscape of India’s polity. Opinion makers not only vociferously critiqued his decisions but most of them also ignored his tenure as the union finance minister or the struggle that he carried against the Rajiv Gandhi government after resigning from the ministry and prior to that as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh (UP). A complete biography of a person like Singh essentially gives a glimpse of the political history, events, and actions surrounding him.

Debashish Mukerji’s The Disruptor: How Vishwanath Pratap Singh Shook India is an essential reading for all those who are interested to know the politics and decision-making in the turbulent period of not merely his 11 months’ tenure but also his tenure as chief minister and, most importantly, his stint in the Ministry of Finance, as the book also covers his life after demitting office when he played an important role in bringing the opposition together and strengthened civil society movements on the right to information and against land grab, as he launched a movement against the Dadri power plant in UP, owned by Reliance and then supported the issues related to land acquisition in Nandigram. Unfortunately, these incidents have not been reported in length in the book, even when the author has definitely worked well to highlight the economic policies of Singh when he was the finance minister.

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Updated On : 31st Jul, 2023
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