A Time of Transition  -  Rajiv Gandhi to The 21st Century

A Time of Transition - Rajiv Gandhi to The 21st Century

Product ID: 25133

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Author: Mani Shankar Aiyar
Publisher: Penguin/Viking
Year: 2009
Language: English
Pages: 373
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780670082759


Mani Shankar Aiyar looks back to the changes that have taken place during the ‘Time of Transition’ —the two decades since Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi left office after the Lok Sabha elections of November 1989.

Rajiv Gandhi was only the fourth full-term prime minister of India in four decades of independence, but the last twenty years have seen as many as eight prime ministers and several more governments. Accompanying the change from single-party governance to the instability of coalition politics are major transformations in the pace, trajectory and even the goals of nation-building. It is these contentious transitions that are reflected in the five major themes of this volume: Democracy, Secularism, Socialism, Nonalignment, and Neighborhood Policy.

Mani Shankar Aiyar was both a witness to and a reluctant participant in, these processes of change: as joint secretary in Rajiv Gandhi’s prime minister’s office, as an MP since 1991, and today as a cabinet minister in the United Progressive Alliance government. His columns for the Indian Express are analytical and vivid commentaries on their times, written in the author’s inimitable style. This collection sheds light on a critically significant era in contemporary India.

‘Very few would equal Mani [Shankar Aiyar] for his turn of phrase, packing wit, wisdom and vitriol in whatever measure he may choose to mix them Mani’s popularity, and influence as a columnist, also comes from his remarkable bandwidth, from diplomacy to economics to coarse politics.’
- Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief, The Express Group


Foreword by Shekhar Gupta

Looking Back in Yearning
Reduces to the Periphery
Slamming Politicians
Freezing the Turbulence
Stick to Beat Panchayati Raj
Disruption, Decorum & Democracy
See You Later, Alligator
The Farmer Betrayed
Rules Should be Simple and Enforceable
The Grassroots Upsurge
Right to Education
Rural India in 10 Years
400 Days of Vajpayee
Southern Comfort
Lighting Forest Fires in the Northeast
Exulting Over a New (Failed) ‘Leadership’ in Assam
Congress Finds its Anchor
The Answers Lie Within
Whose Mistakes are These?
Jayalalithaa’s War Cry
Defeat and its Consequences
Is Vajpayee Another Nehru?
Empowering the Unsuccessful Indian

Vajpayee’s Contrived ‘Barabari’
Reservations for Muslims
Ethnicity and Nationhood
Hinduism and Hindutva
The Right to be Converted
The Turmoil Within
Continental Conversion
The Kalyan Effect
Vajpayee’s Lakshman Rekha
Mandir Kahan Banayenge?
Try Again, Mr Vajpayee
The Dilemma of Being India’s Musharraf
Slow Turn in Gujarat
For Israel, A Gujarat View
Celebrating Hindu Rashtravad
BJP and the Hindu State
Pop Issues for Poll Times
Six Years in Verse

Sense Without Sensibility
Manmohanomics Revisited
Deathknell of UF Government
True Left, Comrades, Turn Left
Road to Tigerhood – Indonesia and India
Odious Comparisons at 50
Disinvestment, Saffron Style
The Poverty of Reforms
The Return of East India Company
Irrational Expectations
Pulled In 24 Directions
A Worm’s Eye View
Globalization and the Safai Karamchari
In the Name of Disinvestment
The Market Trap
Mother of Stock-market Scams
On the Fast-track to Mutual Bankruptcy
Fuzzy Logic, Part Two
In Praise of George
The Making of Modi’s Gujrat
A Sinhful Scam
Tehelka and the JPC
A Question of Accountability
Asleep at the Wheel
Hindutva Rate of Growth
Is India Shining?
Shourie Shining?
Beyond India Shining

Fresh Scope for Nonalignment
India Bids for a Place in the Security Council
Nuclear Disarmament after Pokharan-II
CTBT and the Rajiv Gandhi Action Plan
The Weak Joints of a Nuclear Weapons Power
Our War Against Terrorism – Or Theirs?
Whose War Against Terrorism it Anyway?
Towards a Gandhian Response to Osama Bin Laden
German Squawk, American Hawk
Taming of America
Cowboys in the Wild East
American Durbar
In a Mesopotamian Muddle
Is a Realignment of Nonalignment Possible?

Troubles Waters
Gas Bags of Prosperity
Panchayati Raj in the Gaza Strip
The Need for Talks about Talks
Not Enough, Mr Gujral
Cranking Up the Bus to Pakistan
Oh, What a Lovely War
The Guilty Men of 1999
The Remains of the Victory
It’s Poetry, Not Diplomacy
Relevance of Devolution
Palestine and the Indian Muslim ‘Vote-Bank’ Clueless in Gaza
Weary Travellers and Unsuccessful Diplomats
Mahatma Gandhi and the War on Terrorism
‘War and Diplomacy in Kashmir’
Talking to Pakistan is the Essence of Shimla
The Iran-Pakistan-India Gas Pipeline
NDA Hype and Hypocrisy
Three Cannot Tango
Letter From Islamabad
Clerical Errors
Leave it to Laloo
Ariel Sharon: BJP’s Favourite West Asian
NDA’s Foreign (Non) Policy