This book is embodies a rather unusual chronicle, as it brings to light-perhaps for the first time-two sets of absorbing narratives: the first concerning the style of functioning and the human qualities of three remarkable personalities, attaining top positions, as a leader, in recent times-Rajiv Gandhi, Jyoti Basu and Indrajit Gupta-and the second concerning processes, quietly evolving in the background that had a bearing on important developments, in public domain. Dr. Mukheljee's close association, with each of these three eminent leaders, in various professional roles, provided him with a rare vantage point fo.. a perceptive observation and analysis.
Dr. Mukheljee, being privy to many a lesser known facets of a number of topical issues, such as Rajiv Gandhi's offer of Prime Ministership to Jyoti Basu, more than once or some aspects of the Bofors deal, is able to present such issues in a different perspective. We can also have glimpses of the humane and sensitive side of Rajiv Gandhi as Prime Minister of India and as well as his exuberant sense of adventure - sometimes causing a lot of worry to the author, as his security chief, during his extensive, frequent tours of West Bengal.
It is from a very vantage point that he recounts engaging episodes, such as Jyoti Basu's reactions to the exploits of his ex-compatriot, Ananta Singh or instances of Basu's administrative acumen that gave due cognizance to the reasoned, though, contrary views of his officers. An added bonus is the gripping account of 'Operation Crossbow', the meticulously structured plan of action, carried out, under the direct leadership of the author, which was instrumental in eradicating extremist activities in North Bengal, during mid-sixties.
Dr. Mukheljee considers it a rare honour that Indrajit Gupta, the Home Minister designate, in the United Front Government, had requested for his help in conducting the work of the Ministry, even before taking over a formal charge. Dr. Mukheljee was entrusted with a wide range of responsibilities and in that connection, he accompanied the Home Minister, during his extensive tours, within and outside the country. Shri Gupta's commitment to, and powerful intervention in. police reforms in India, is also a revelation.
Dr. Mukheljee's study of three dominant, but individually different, personalities of contemporary India, indeed comes alive, with an enrichment by authenticated anecdotes and a prescient commentary, along with a sobering analysis of the malaise of corruption that constantly haunts our polity and society. Written in a methodical, but lucid style, this volume must be valued by political readers, academics and scholars, in search of a new insight, for knowing otherwise known phenomena and personalities.
Author: Dr AP Mukheljee, IPS, Former Director CBI
Features: HB, Manas Pub