How Vishwanath Pratap Singh Shook India
'Once you start reading, it's almost impossible to put this book down. This is not simply a biography - it is a serious work of history.' - Karan Thapar
'An admiring and admirable account of the life of a very complex public personality.' - Jairam Ramesh
Vishwanath Pratap Singh, India's seventh Prime Minister, struck Indian politics with the force of a tornado. Primarily remembered for implementing the recommendations of the Mandal Commission report, which provided reservations in Central government services for the first time to the Other Backward Classes, he deserves a place in history for much more-from conducting raids on the biggest business houses of his time when he was finance minister, to investigating murky defence deals as defence minister (which cost him his job); bringing together a divided Opposition to form an unlikely coalition government at the Centre comprising the BJP and the communist parties, to spearheading the biggest airlift evacuation in Indian history-of Indians stranded in Kuwait during the first Gulf War.
V.P. Singh weathered repeated crises during his eleven-month prime ministerial tenure: the rise of insurgency in Kashmir, starting with the kidnapping of his home minister's daughter by terrorists; L.K. Advani's rath yatra in support of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, which led to communal riots; and, above all, the backlash that followed the Mandal Commission report's implementation.
Known for his integrity and honesty, V.P. Singh ended up antagonizing both the Congress and the BJP--perhaps one of the reasons he has not been given the posthumous attention he deserves. The Disruptor is a richly detailed account of his extraordinarily eventful life, told in the context of his times.