The Turbulent Years: 1980 – 1996
The Turbulent Years opens in the 1980s. Sanjay Gandhi is dead under unexpected, tragic circumstances; not many years later, Indira Gandhi is assassinated; Rajiv Gandhi, ‘the reluctant politician’, abruptly becomes India’s Prime Minister.
Pranab Mukherjee was witness to (and, sometimes, a participant in) the momentous events of the 1980s and the 1990s, a period that was indisputably the most turbulent in India’s post-Independence history. An insider, he sheds new light on every major political occurrence of the time?from Rajiv Gandhi’s ascendance as India’s Prime Minister to the emergence of P.V. Narasimha Rao as the leader of a nation; from Operation Blue Star to the Babri Masjid fiasco.
Equally, Mukherjee is candid about each of the professional crises that marked this period of his career?the rumours that he wanted to elbow aside Rajiv Gandhi for the top post; the possible reasons for his ouster from Rajiv’s Cabinet and, later, the party; and the allegation that he aided and abetted the Left by not imposing President’s rule in West Bengal and Tripura in the late 1980s.
The second volume of Mukherjee’s autobiography is not only an honest account of his years in power (and in the wilderness), but also a cogent analysis of the political and social turning points of a key period in the evolution of modern India.