Kuldip Nayar is one of the most prominent journalists that India has had. He is the author of several books. Most of which are drawn from his experiences as the journalist. Scoop is the first and only book that I have read of his. It gives you an impression of someone who has led an interesting life, having lived through the partition. And doing stories around the people who more or less shaped the post-independence India and sub-continent. His primary area of interest is politics and politicians. He had been a keen observer of various political personalities and their political behaviors. Being born in Sialkot, which is now in Pakistan and someone who chose to be in India during partition, he has a keen interest in both India and Pakistan. And shared a good friendship with politicians on both sides of the border.
This particular book Scoop is about some of the interesting and important stories he did during his long career in journalism. He talks not only about the situation and the people involved in the stories. But very interestingly about how he made people give away confidential information to him for his stories or scoops. At times it was because of his the long-standing relationship that he managed to get the information. At times he provoked people to speak up. And at times he collected bits and pieces from various places. And then stitched them together to put the whole story together. Having been the information officer of two prime ministers of the country, he was privy to a lot of information, some of which he has shared in this book.
There is a story of Lal Bahadur Shastri’s death in Tashkent with all last minute graphic details. There is a story of how he found out about Bhutto’s hanging when no one including Bhutto wanted to believe it. And there is a story about him finding out the presence of the nuclear bomb in Pakistan from its top scientist when no one knew about it. There is a story about his one article which shifted the scales in favor of Shastri instead of Morarji Desai after Nehru’s death. There is a story about Vajpayee’s bus journey to Lahore, where again he was a part of the troupe.
You may already know the outline of most of the stories in the book Scoop. But what each story gives you is an insight into the situation, the people involved. And Kuldip’s strategic ways to extract information from various people and then weave it into a story. You would enjoy reading most of them.
Thanks, Vineeta for gifting me this book.
Buy this book – Scoop: Inside Stories From The Partition To The Present by Kuldip Nayar at Amazon India.