'A political diary'
ANTARDRISHTI: P.V. Narasimha Rao; Translated by Mathooru Krishnamurthy from the English original " The Insider". Pub. by Loka Shikshna Trust, Bangalore. Rs. 250.
THIS WORK, a translation of the book by a former Prime Minister has its quota of hindsight here and there. Though covering an eventful period offering scope for a creative work of art, it turns out to be a political diary.
Land reform policy is taken to illustrate how the game of political power is played using popular issues as a foil with little or no benefit to people. In the finale, the hero, with a modest background, is inducted accidentally as it were, into power.
Some gleanings of wisdom offered are: loyalty to the boss pays; know when to be silent; crisis finds the man; scoundrels and charlatans surround the leader in the inner circle impairing her/his power of discrimination. One wonders, whether the system works or somebody works the system?
P.V. Narasimha Rao avers that by the time Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister for a second term, a new generation had come to power, education had spread and people were desperate for jobs and not for land anymore.
He says the leadership of the day was late to notice this change, hinting perhaps, at a reason for loss of power to the Congress and also why he himself took to reforms. But then surely it marked the beginning of the decline of the rural economy and the Congress lost power again?
The translator is reputed for his good Kannada prose; but this one seems to have been done in a hurry. Albeit a good read and of documentary value.
K. S. PARTHASARATHY
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