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How Prime Ministers Decide: A Book Review

CM Kejriwal seeks permission to provide the book in judicial custody.

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Discover how prime ministers make crucial decisions in this insightful book review.

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In the intricate tapestry of Indian politics, the role of the Prime Minister is pivotal. Neerja Chowdhury’s “How Prime Ministers Decide” offers a compelling exploration of the decision-making processes of India’s Prime Ministers, providing readers with a nuanced understanding of the political and personal factors that have shaped the nation’s history.

Chowdhury, an award-winning journalist and political commentator, brings to the fore a wealth of information, anecdotes, and analyses that delve into the critical decisions made by India’s leaders. Her narrative is likened to the gripping storytelling of Woodward and Bernstein’s “All The President’s Men,” filled with pace and verve.

The book examines the dichotomy between being a good politician and a good Prime Minister, suggesting that possessing both qualities is a rarity. It highlights figures like Indira Gandhi, Narasimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Narendra Modi, who have left indelible marks on Indian politics through their leadership styles and decisions.

Chowdhury’s work also sheds light on the intertwining of religion and politics, tracing its roots back to the 1970s. She provides insights into how Indira Gandhi navigated these waters, revealing her interactions with the RSS and the strategic moves that defined her political journey.

The book is not just a historical account; it is a mirror reflecting the trial and error inherent in political decision-making. Chowdhury’s narrative reveals the human side of these leaders, their moments of uncertainty, and the weight of their choices. The author argues that political success is a blend of skill and luck, and the outcomes of decisions can elevate a leader to mastermind status or necessitate a brave face in the wake of failure.

“How Prime Ministers Decide” is more than a political analysis; it is a story of resilience, strategy, and the relentless pursuit of power. It profiles six former Prime Ministers, from Indira Gandhi to Manmohan Singh, and offers a gripping account of their tenures, strategies, and the pressures they faced.

The book’s detailed recounting of events like the Shah Bano case, the Babri Masjid controversy, and the Indo-US nuclear deal provides a behind-the-scenes look at how these leaders handled crises that shaped the country’s politics.

Chowdhury’s writing style is engaging, making complex political narratives accessible and riveting. Her ability to retell well-known political events in a fresh and captivating manner speaks to her skill as a raconteur.

In conclusion, “How Prime Ministers Decide” is a must-read for anyone interested in the dynamics of Indian politics and leadership. It offers a profound look at the decisions that have defined India’s political landscape, presented through the lens of a seasoned journalist who has witnessed the ebb and flow of power in the corridors of Delhi. Neerja Chowdhury’s book is a testament to the complexity and intrigue of political decision-making and a valuable resource for understanding the leaders who have shaped India’s destiny.

Vinay Kumar is Marketing Professional turned Entrepreneur, believes in turning ideas into reality.

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