by K. S. Komireddi
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Gandhi who shaped and pioneered a unified India in the twentieth century, wanted congress dissolved after independence.
But it eventually remained, with Nehru as it's leader. As an architect of India he foccused on making India.
1. A secular state ( an oposition to pak )
2. A truly democratic state.
Although many infant democracies became autocratic, Nehru made sure India doesn't. He also kept Congress democratic, with Kamraj having the power to choose the next leader.
However, in 1955 after death of Sardar Patel, he moved far away from the mixed economic model, pushing India towards socialism.
Shastri who lead India after Nehru, carried the same principles of the freedom struggle. But after his suspicious death. Indira, grabbed power.
Indira approach to congress was different from Shastri or Nehru. She at first undermined congress democray by splitting it up. And then the national democrary by emergency rules.
It was Sanjay Gandhi who de-facto ruled the country, with regressive nationalisation. This was more of autocracy than a socialist policy.
After the death of Sanjay and then Indira, Rajiv was a confused leader. It was under him that the secularism began to thin away.
Most of other coalition govts of India has been short lived and insignificant. Except for Rao. His legacy of liberalisation, makes him one of the most divisive face of modern India.
However, by his time, the demand of right wing had gathered momentum. And allowing thr demolition of Babri Masjid was a nail in the coffin.
The author points here, how Indian history was delhified and the atrocities of Muslim invaders whitewashed, to make Europeans a culprit for India's decadence. The lack of description of Hindus plight gave RSS a political mileage.
The government of Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh, were banking the benefits of the liberalisation. However, ethenic tensions were on rise within the country.
Both were often hijacked by the coalition partners, and the Singh govt hd become too corrupt. The attacks on 26-11 and the Anna Hazare movement made the last half of Singh's govt a debacle.
All of this contributed to the making of Modi, who had by then risen through ranks of BJP to the top job.
The rest of the book, analysizes the failings of Modi govt. which is a commentary on the current govt.
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The book malevolent republic offers a critical reviews of the past leaders of India and analyses the rise of Narendra Modi. It also offers a commentary on the current Indian politics.
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