NEW DELHI: Former Union Minister and Congress strategist Jairam Ramesh’s book ‘To the Brink and Back: India’s 1991 Reforms Story’ which is expected to unravel the behind-the-scenes stories of how the economic reforms were ushered in by the then minority Congress Government led by P V Narasimha Rao will be released on September 30.
Out-of-power Congress leaders writing books in the autumn of their career is nothing new. But Ramesh’s attempt stands out for two reasons-- Firstly, he has not reached his autumn yet and secondly his book is expected to resurrect Rao’s reputation. Also quite significantly, this book will be an attempt, the first of its kind, by a key AICC neoteric close to Gandhi family, to re-establish Rao’s credentials.
Going by what Ramesh has said in an interview, in the book he has tried to depict Rao as an intellectual, a rarity in the current political scenario. Ever since Sonia Gandhi took over the reins of the Congress, Rao has been kept out of the party hall of fame, deleted from its institutional memory.
Political lores about Sonia’s deeply strained relations with Rao and the bitter fallout abound. In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made use of this, much to the political embarrassment of the Congress while addressing rallies in Hyderabad in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Will all that change now? No one has an answer to it yet.Whether the book is a commissioned attempt by the Congress leadership to co-opt Rao back into its post-Independence pantheon or a singular effort on Ramesh’s part to set the record straight would be known at the book release, depending on who attends and who does not.
But, what could be of interest to political analysts, the book has number of unpublished notes of architects of reforms.