Title- Emergency Retold
Author- Kuldip Nayar
The book is an account, a live third person account of the Emergency. Kuldip Nayar was a journalist, who was imprisoned during the Emergency and had to undergo the injustice inflicted upon the masses.
We all know that the Emergency was one of the darkest phases India had to go through post-independence. The sufferings of the people at large, the motives and selfishness of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the multiple reasons that were given to justify the action etc are fascinating to think about and to read.
The narrative is apt and the facts presented are amazing. The book has been written with a lot of background research and interviews with stakeholders and the affected parties. It critically examines the effect and the impact of Emergency in shaping up of the political destiny of the country. It does not mince words when describing the tyranny of Sanjay Gandhi during the phase or of the inability of Indira Gandhi to accept the truth of Sanjay.
I have read a similar book authored by Shri.P.N.Dhar, who was Indira Gandhi’s secretary during Emergency. The review of that book can be read here. I had the feeling that Dhar was sympathetical and too soft towards the Gandhis and was in denial to see what really happened during the Emergency. This book by Kuldip Nayar does not do that mistake and gives us a neutral and blunt view of what is what.
Another book that I would love to read on this subject is the one written by Coomi Kapoor. She was also a journalist back then and had lived through Emergency. It must be an interesting read.
Despite a few editing errors here and there, the book is good. Readers craving masala, stay away, for this one is dry and boring if you are expecting drama.