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Biographies & Autobiographies
The Dramatic Decade focuses on one of the most fascinating periods in the life ofthis nation-the decade of the 1970s. This was when India found herself engagingwith the true meaning of democracy. The nation displayed her commitment toliberty by extending full support to East Pakistan's struggle for independence. Later,between 1975 and 1977, during the Emergency, she found herself grappling withthe limits of personal expression. Finally, in 1977, India saw the emergence of thepolitics of coalition, with the Janata Party-an amalgam of Indian parties opposedto the Emergency, comprising the Congress (O), the Bharatiya Lok Dal, the JanaSangh and the Socialists-coming to power. This was a turning point in the historyof the Indian legislature.
This was the decade when Pranab Mukherjee committed himself to the role of apolitical activist. As one of the keenest observers of and participants in this dramaticdecade, Pranab Mukherjee's insights are invaluable. Indeed, he nudges our impressionsof the 1970s. For instance, recounting the urgent appeal for Indira Gandhi's mid-term resignation, he asks:
Which democracy in the world would permit a change of a popularly andfreely elected government through means other than a popular election?Can parties beaten at the hustings replace a popularly elected governmentby sheer agitation? Was it not prudent for those who were determined tochange the government to wait till the elections which were but roundthe corner? Does the rule of law mean that the remedies available to thecommon man are to be denied to someone holding an elected office? [...]How could anybody replace her when the overwhelming majority of CongressMPs-with a two-thirds majority in the Lok Sabha-resolved that IndiraGandhi should continue as the party's leader in Parliament and thereby asthe Prime Minister of India?
Drawing from personal diary extracts, conversations with key players of the 1970s,and vital secondary literature, Pranab Mukherjee presents an exceptional portrait ofa complex nation.
About the author -
Pranab Mukherjee assumed office as the President of India on 25 July 2012. Hehas unparalleled experience in governance, with the rare distinction of having servedat different times as Foreign, Defence, Commerce and Finance Minister, as alsoDeputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. He was elected to the Rajya Sabhafive times from 1969, and twice to the Lok Sabha from 2004. A recipient of thePadma Vibhushan (2008), Pranab Mukherjee's intellectual and political prowess iswidely admired. He has been long acclaimed for his role as a consensus builderon difficult national issues.