Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews
New Delhi, 15th July: Former bureaucrat and union minister, Sh. Yashwant Sinha’s autobiography was released by Hon’ble Sh. Pranab Mukherjee (former President of India) at a recently held event at India International Center in the national capital.
The release function was preceded by an animated panel discussion consisting of Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Dr. Arun Shourie, Sh. Yashwant Sinha and Sh. Wajahat Habibullah (who joined the discussion little later).
Opening the proceedings, the Managing Director of Bloomsbury publishing, Sh. Rajiv Beri said, “This book is a compliment to Yashwant Sinha’s memory… the autobiography actually reads like a story and the reader constantly wonders as to what will happen next. What strikes the reader most is that this is the story of someone who stood up for his principles and what was right.”
Barkha Dutt who moderated the session opined that “in many ways, Relentless is an inside view of history from someone who has worked with political leaders from across the spectrum.”
Dr. Arun Shourie was at his anecdotal best and said “After Pranab Mukherjee, Yashwant Sinha is the only person I have witnessed to have an excellent memory. His book is a primary material for historians to know about what happened to socialists over time. And how reforms are often stopped by people who know nothing about them, and they themselves don’t often believe in what they are saying.”
Sh. Yashwant Sinha regaled the audience by sharing many anecdotes from his illustrious professional career and reminisced about his college days too. Speaking at length about his journey, Sh. Sinha stated, “Most of us in the Civil Services often complained about things that are wrong, I wanted to go one step forward and see if I could change the system. In Politics, you have a much bigger canvas – it is the only way change can be brought. Even when you are in opposition, you can change things. Moreover, a civil servant couldn’t defend himself (against a politician) even he was right – I wanted to reach a level where I could stand up for myself publicly.”
Dr. Shashi Tharoor took a leaf from Sh. Sinha’s code of conduct and righteousness and said that “The thing that shines through the book is Yashwant Sinha’s gentlemanly behaviour and his decency.”
Sh. Pranab Mukherjee shared many anecdotes from his days when is was constituent of parliamentary proceedings and many episodes that were noteworthy and that it was only after “Reading the book made me realise his knack for historical events”, said Sh. Mukherjee
About the book:
From bureaucrat to politician, and from one century to the next, Yashwant Sinha’s incredible journey from modest beginnings to the highest corridors of power is a tribute to a family’s determination and sacrifices, a young man’s indomitable grit and an enduring ode to a nation in the throes of constant churn and change.
Having worked with three prime ministers and two chief ministers, former administrator and union minister Sinha has been a part of the country’s transformation from a fledging postcolonial democracy to one of the world’s most exciting economies to watch out for—a transformation in which he has played an active role as a parliamentarian, minister for external affairs and two-time finance minister in two vastly different governments. It is also a compelling read for Sinha’s commentary on things as diverse as politics, religion, democracy and its institutions, as well as family, personal struggle and a relentless pursuit of bigger dreams.
From when bureaucrats often bicycled to work and the back lanes of Bihar to the autobahn of Bonn; from the benches of the Indian Parliament to the podium of the UN General Assembly; from behind the bars of various jails to centre stage as a dissenting voice in a majority government—Relentless tells the story of one of India’s most well-known public faces, in his very own unique voice, and some of its most iconic leaders and political parties, with neither fear nor favour. From JP and Chandra Shekhar to VP Singh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi, the book gives an insight into the rise and fall of leaders and ideologies that have charted a unique course for our democracy amid fierce personal and political strife.
About the author:
Yashwant Sinha is a veteran politician and a former administrator. He is credited with preparing the blueprint for the 1991 economic reforms of India as part of the Union Budget. Sinha taught political science at the University of Patna till 1960 before he joined the Indian Administrative Services. In 1984, he resigned from the services and joined politics as a member of the Janata Party. He worked as the Minister of Finance from November 1990 to June 1991 in Chandra Shekhar’s cabinet. He later joined the BJP and became the national spokesperson in 1996. He served as the Union Minister of Finance (1998–2002) and External Affairs (2002–2004).
The book is published by Bloomsbury and is priced at Rs. 799.