New Delhi – A new book by a seasoned journalist attempts to analyse the three years of the NDA government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Titled “Marching With A Billion” (Penguin/Rs 499/234 pages), the book has been authored by Uday Mahurkar, who was incharge of Gujarat for India Today from 1987 to 2015 and moved to Delhi in December 2015 to cover the BJP, the RSS and the Prime Minister’s Office on a national scale.
Sharing his views on the three years of Modi government, around which his entire book revolves, Mahurkar said that an honest bird’s view would reveal that the government has done very well on a majority of the fronts.
Referring to the Modi regime as “transformational government,” he said that the most important aspects of his governance are sincerity and transparency.
“It is the first government in many years where corporate houses have no role to play in policy making,” Mahurkar told IANS. He counted on a series of achievements of the government, ranging from the Jan Dhan Scheme to the near-30 per cent rise in annual Union Budget. He also hoped the government did more in fields like skill development and tourism.
“Marching With A Billion” seems high in praise of the Modi regime and falls short in evaluating what Mahurkar calls the “shortfalls” of the NDA government. Why?
“I don’t think so. I have written what I have believed. In fact in almost every chapter shortfalls have been listed. There is also critical evaluation of Mr Modi’s personality,” he responded.
Asked specifically about the major shortfalls of the government, he responded saying that the government has failed to address the issue of “call drop”.
To a question on the importance of being objective while penning a book like his, Mahurkar said a writer may follow a certain ideology but when he is writing a book on a person who adheres to the same ideology or on a person of opposite ideology, it is extremely necessary that he maintains objectivity.
“Unfortunately, most don’t. You must read the portions I have written on Pandit Nehru in ‘Marching With a Billion’ and you will realise that I have maintained the highest standards without deviating from my objective of presenting a truthful picture,” Mahurkar, a deputy editor at India Today, contended.
The author said that he didn’t offer to write the book in the first place and had refused when the offer first came to him from Penguin Random House but the publisher “managed to convince” him later.