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Matters of Discretion: An Autobiography

Gujral, I K

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ISBN 10: 9380480806 / ISBN 13: 9789380480800
Published by Penguin Books
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Matters of Discretion: An Autobiography

Publisher: Penguin Books

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title


I. K. Gujral (born on 4 December 1919) has penned his life story in as forthright and candid a manner as possible. He entered the political fray as a freedom fighter in the British era and, after the tumultuous events that rocked the Indian subcontinent in the wake of partition in August 1947, crossed over from Pakistan to India, where he had to begin life from scratch. Despite facing tremendous odds, on the basis of his perseverance, resilience and never-say-die attitude, Gujral achieved a remarkable track record, and, in the process, witnessed the making of modern India. Gujral joined the Congress Party and was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in April 1964. This was the beginning of a long innings, both in the national and international fields. In Indira Gandhi s Government, over the years, he held several portfolios such as the Union minister for communications, parliamentary affairs and works and housing. He was the information and broadcasting minister when Emergency was imposed (on 25 June 1975), which entailed arbitrary press censorship. Since he refused to kowtow to the de facto powers that be, he was unceremoniously replaced and later sent by Indira Gandhi as India s ambassador to the USSR, a post he handled with commendable tact and finesse, even during the tenures of her two successors, Morarji Desai and Charan Singh. After his stint in Moscow, he returned to India and re-entered the political whirlpool by joining the Janata Dal. He became the minister for external affairs, first under V. P. Singh (in December 1989) and then under Deve Gowda (in June 1996). He throws new light on the pressures and counter pressures and on the intrigues and counter intrigues that led to the fall of the V. P. Singh Government on 7th November 1990 and also to that of the Deve Gowda Government on 11 April 1997. Gujral attained the pinnacle when he became the prime minister on 21 April 1997. During his prime ministership, despite the exigencies and pressures of running a coalition government, he endeavoured to achieve progress in many spheres, including foreign affairs. The Gujral Doctrine (a set of five principles to guide the conduct of foreign relations with India s immediate neighbours) was widely acclaimed not only in India but also in the West. However, forces inimical to his government soon began making their presence felt. He takes the reader backstage to highlight the drama that resulted in his exit. This volume, a valuable addition to the literature on contemporary history, provides a deep insight into the political scene as it unfolded after independence and also delineates the roles sometimes positive and sometimes negative played by a wide spectrum of not only politicians but also bureaucrats and others

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