Ullekh N P: The Untold Vajpayee: Politician and Paradox
Despite his grand ‘secular’ statements in Parliament that bordered on the Nehruvian, Atal Bihari Vajpayee has often taken brief excursions into the hard-line camp. In 1983, he made an incendiary speech during the Assam elections in which the presence of ‘Bangladeshi foreigners’ in the state was a big issue. Even the BJP disowned Vajpayee’s speech, which possibly inspired the massacre of over 2000 people, mostly Muslims, in Nellie, Assam, the same year.
Vajpayee, one of the shrewdest politicians of India, is known for negotiating multiple paradoxes: from militant nationalism to his secret family life; his stint as a communist; his indulgence in food; and his attempt to project himself as a moderate, if not a liberal. Exploring crucial milestones of Vajpayee’s career and his traits as a seasoned politician, the book looks at his relationship with leaders of his party and his love–hate association with the RSS and its feeder organizations. Thoroughly researched, supported by hard facts and accompanied by inside stories and anecdotes, insightful interviews and archival photographs, The Untold Vajpayee will open a window to the life and times of a poet-politician.