Young Turks aka The Road to Raisina by Krishan Pratap Singh
They say that today Indians have dreams in their eyes, and they are not scared of dreaming anything. They dream of having big global businesses, they dream of a clean environment and sometimes they dream of a perfect country in the hands of perfect people. How you wish these dreams would come out of eyes that dream them and become a reality.Krishan Pratap Singh is a young author who probably had a dream about perfect politics in India. Living in Delhi, he might have rubbed shoulders with the innumerable high and mighty in Delhi and based on how he would want to see them he created a story. The book is based on politics in India as we would like to have, and probably the first one to explore politics in a fiction by the current generation of authors.
The story begins sometime in early 70s with its three main protagonists still in school in Delhi as classmates and all of whom come from enviable backgrounds. Till 2009, the scene in Indian politics is fictionalized, but every Indian would know what the author is saying. People who grew up in 70s and 80s can relate to each and everything. The three leads have exceptionally great careers in entirely different fields. One with a famous surname goes to the Army and wins the Kargil battle, another becomes a media personality and the third one becomes a financial whiz kid. Two of them change careers and move on to join politics, one of them out of choice and sense of responsibility and the other is dragged into it by the family. The third one becomes a big media guy, owns a TV channel and covers and analyzes everything the other two do. There are all elements of Indian politics that the story touches, caste politics, identity based decisions, push of a surname and family lineage, regional politics, riots, war, external affairs, alliance politics, extra marital affairs, sting operations, kidnapping of family members of the politics. When the two protagonists become the most powerful politicians in the country that is when the dream run of author begins. The public interests come before personal interests, the disagreements are kept apart once the decisions are taken, ministers lead front in dealing with riots, neighboring countries are dealt with strongly and there is no bending before anyone. The seized land during war is not returned; the diplomatic relations are maintained with all major regions. Author does not make his characters larger than life and gives them some frailties to keep them human. In the climax when the 2 have to decide between themselves who takes the prime post of Prime Minister of India, the choice is in the best interest of the country even though there are doubts about choosing a person from minority community.
Book is very fast paced, there is no beating around the bush and a certain level of intelligence is assumed in the readers. It also seems to be written for Indians as there is not effort to explain each and every India word, which is also commendable as most authors today seem to be running after global audience. The language is simple and lucid, very easy to read. There are no editorial mistakes that I could see. The author seems to have spent time amongst the people who run the government machinery and observed them closely. This is the one of the few books in recent time where I did not feel that the book was written with a bollywood movie in mind. Though on second thoughts, it has the potential to become a film on the lines of modern day patriotic films.
The book comes with some fresh writing and looks at an area largely ignored so far in Indian writing. This is the first book in a three part series by the author called The Raisina Series. I am looking forward to reading the next two books now.
I would recommend reading this book, especially if you are an Indian.