My Years with Rajiv: Triumph and Tragedy

Author:

Wajahat Habibullah

Publisher:

Westland Publications

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Publisher

Westland Publications

Publication Year 2020
ISBN-13

9789389648492

ISBN-10 9389648491
Binding

Hardcover

Number of Pages 339 Pages
Language (English)
Dimensions (Cms) 22 x 14 x 2.5
Weight (grms) 490

‘Wise, witty and intensely moving, the book brings to vivid life not just the personality of Rajiv Gandhi as a man and a leader but a whole phase of modern India’s political history. The author narrates with total honesty and the most becoming modesty the story of promise soaring into achievement only to be cut down by destiny’s inscrutable hand. Habibullah is to Rajiv what Abul Fazl was to Akbar.’ - Gopalkrishna Gandhi ‘If you want to know who Rajiv Gandhi was as a person, a friend and a leader, and what his contributions as prime minister were, Wajahat Habibullah’s thoughtful book, written with the sure hand of one who knew him from childhood and also served him professionally, is an unputdownable must read.’ - Pavan K. Varma On 21 May 1991, Wajahat Habibullah, then the commissioner of Kashmir (constituting the valley and two districts of Ladakh), had returned home after inspecting a mysterious fire at Dalgate, Srinagar. Much to his dismay, there had been another fire, one that left him devastated: an RDX explosion in the south Indian town of Sriperumbudur had taken the life of India’s sixth prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi. My Years with Rajiv is an endearing account of a friendship that turned into an administrative partnership, one that gave him an acute insight into Rajiv Gandhi’s political life. But equally, in this lucid memoir, recounting his years in the Indian Administrative Services, particularly at the Prime Minister’s Office, Habibullah walks us through the last three decades of the twentieth century—in many ways, the most formative years of Indian history. Habibullah also seeks to demystify the workings of the Indian government and bureaucracy: the modernisation of the Nehruvian nation, the turbulence of the Khalistan years in Punjab, the introduction of grassroots policies aimed at poverty alleviation in rural India, the beginning of telecommunications services, the Shah Bano case, the opening of the locks at Babri Masjid/Ram Janmabhoomi, Indian interventions in Sri Lanka, and much else. In this, Habibullah, a natural raconteur, is more than successful, telling the tale in his inimitably candid and self-effacing manner.

Wajahat Habibullah

Wajahat Habibullah (born 30 September 1945) is a former chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities. Prior to this, he was the first Chief Information Commissioner of India. He was an officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) of the J&K cadre from 1968 until his retirement in September 2005, having served in India and the US.
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