The book, 'Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh' has been written by Sanjaya Baru. He was appointed as the media advisor to the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. The book provides a slight peep inside the Indian political life and is a visual description of the Manmohan Singh era in Indian politics.
Summary of the book
Dr. Manmohan Singh offered, Sanjaya Baru a job with the words, 'Sitting here I know I will be isolated from the outside world. I want you to be my eyes and ears. Tell me what you think I should know, without fear or favour". The book lists all the incidents and experiences of Dr. Manmohan Singh' during his tenure as the Prime minister of India.
The book is Sanjaya Baru's account of what it was like to 'manage' the public opinion for Dr. Singh on one hand, and on the other, provide a very enthralling look at the Indian politics, which took place behind the curtains. The author was the spin doctor and a trusted advisor for the Prime Minister, for a period of four years in a row. He often noticed the situations when Dr. Manmohan Singh had a tough time with his ministers and his careful equation with Sonia Gandhi. The book also provides a narration of how Dr. Manmohan Singh handled the bigger crises, right from managing the Left to pushing through the nuclear deal.
The book provides a bird's eye view of what it was like for Dr. Singh to work in a government which had two centres of power. The entire book is very insightful, acute and completely laden up with lots of political gossip. The author was a great admirer of Dr. Manmohan Singh and was truly delighted on being given the opportunity to help the man he admired the most in Indian politics.
Dr. Singh envisioned the author to become the eyes and the ears of the prime minister and the self-appointed 'conscience-keeper' proved himself as one. He observed a huge transformation of Dr. Manmohan Singh from being a technocrat to a politician.
Reviews of the book
The book 'Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh 'has received a mixed response from the general public. While some people believe that Dr Manmohan Singh did not fulfil his responsibilities as the Prime Minister, there are others who felt quite empathetic towards him, especially after reading the book.
The book clearly shows how the prime minister was under a great deal of stress and pressure. His role was clearly downplayed and the ruling party always praised the efforts of the Gandhi family and not of the PM. Towards the end of the book, one does feel bad for Dr. Manmohan Singh, and realize that he worked tirelessly and silently for the country without receiving any appreciation from anyone.
About the author
Before writing the book, Sanjaya Baru was the chief editor of the Financial Times. He is well known as an Indian political commentator, and a policy analyst.