LK Advani’s memoirs give BJP leaders a sense of relief
NEW DELHI: Skirting problematic details and sticking
to public facts on the crucial events in the Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP), LK Advani’s book My Country My Life gave
a sense of relief to party leaders unaware of its content.
Those who knew brushed aside queries with “arre kuch
nahin hai (there is nothing in it)”.
As it happens, the book released on Wednesday evening would
not really create problems for the party or any of its leaders.
Some see it as “a PR exercise”, others as intended
to gain centre stage in the public eye and project Advani’s
personality and leadership, his vision, contribution and
achievements, at a time when elections are drawing close.
The speculation earlier was, would Advani, the National
Democratic Alliance’s (NDA’s) prime ministerial
candidate, expose or embarrass or would he play safe in
As an observer argued, people generally write memoirs after
they are done with it all and write with a devil-may-care
approach, not bothering who they hurt or offend. Not so
with Indian politicians. Moreover, Advani is not done with
it yet. He is the prime ministerial candidate of the NDA.
A visionary with an inclusive view of society and the nation,
and a true, hardcore RSS worker, the two aspects of Advani
were repeatedly stressed upon – by different speakers
– at the book release.
The function attracted a substantial gathering from different
walks of life and political parties. Advani, thanking all
present, regretted that Atal Behari Vajpayee could not come
and thanked him for sending his foster son-in-law Ranjan
Bhattacharya and daughter Namita. He also thanked his ideological
family, the RSS, and his own family for making his life
happy and meaningful, but refused to say anything about
the book. “What I have to say, I have said it in the
book,” he said.
Leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha Jaswant Singh said
it was a timely book and long overdue. Advani is the most
misread and misrepresented leader today, he asserted, saying
he was committed unambiguously to an integrative, inclusive,