I have finished reading My Country My Life by L.K.Advani. It was one great book that I read in the recent time.
In the book, he explained his life and the political situation of India. Most of the information is new, and it is little difficult to find the same elsewhere. He discussed many issues from 1947 to 2005, from Partition of India to his Pakistan Yatra.
Partition of India : He explained the effects of Partition of India, and all the problems that India faced because of that. However, he did not explain anything about the reasons or background behind the partition of India. While researching that, I learned many new things. Unfortunately in India, we don't have freedom to tell that publicly. By the way, the plea of Nathruam Godse during the trial on the charges of killing Gandhi was banned in India. (I don't know whether it is still banned or not). Two books about Nehru are banned. We can find many interesting things, if we do further research on the same.
Bhartiya Jana Sangh and Dr.Shyama Prasad Mookerjee : He explained the formation of Bharatiya Jana Sangh. But, he did not explain much about Dr.Shyama Prasad Mookerjee. After reading about him, I understood his greatness. Since 1952 till now, Leaders of BJS (and present BJP) had the same vision, and they are following same kind of path. I don't see that much difference between Dr.Shayama Prasad Mookerjee and Vajpayee.
Emergency : He gave so much information about Emergency, what all happened during the emergency, and he explained all the changes in the Constitution during that time. After reading that, I realized why Emergency is called as the Darkest Period in India's History. (On a side note, after the emergency, Congress(I) lost badly everywhere. But, in Andhra Pradesh, it won 41 out of 42 seats.)
Morarji's Government : This is where he started explaining the real politics (For example, One person offers special favor to another person in the opposition. Once there is split in the opposition, the first person withdraws the favor). He explained many politics done by many people and why Morarji's government failed.
Formation of BJP and it's First elections : After the collapse of Morarji's government, and the politics in that, Bharatiya Jana Sangh came out of Janatha Party, and formed Bharatiya Janatha Party. In 1984, When Indira Gandhi was killed, BJP Contested in 224 constituencies and it won only 2 seats, one in Andhra Pradesh, another one in Gujarat (It won 90 in 1977). Because of sympathy, Congress won with a great triumph. (On a side note, In Andhra Pradesh it got only 6 seats out of 42, quite contrary to what happened in 1977. TDP got 30 seats and became the Chief Opposition Party in it's inauguration to the Loksabha.) By the second elections, it became very strong by securing more than 80 seats.
Ayodhya Movement and Ratha Yatra : He explained Ayodhya in 50 pages with complete information from Nehru's age till now. He gave so much information about Ayodhya, which a comman man does not know. If anyone thinks that, all parties except BJP are secular, then they must read this chapter. This chapter explained and gave examples of the communal behavior of the so-called secular parties. To know whether BJP is secular or communal, there are examples in the entire book. (Yes. BJP is more secular than any other party.)
P.V.Narasimha Rao : I explained about P.V.N.Rao more in my previous article. Advani praised P.V.Narasimha Rao as the best Prime Minister after Lal Bahadur Sastry. One mistake in the book was, he thought P.V.N.Rao won with great majority because of malpractices in the election. (P.V.Narasimha Rao won in Nandyala with more than 5.5 Lakh votes, and it is still a record.) The fact was, N.T.Rama Rao, then leader of Telugu Desam party, did not put any contestant against him, because he was the first Prime Minister from Andhra Pradesh (and South India). Because of that, he had opposition only from minor parties and independents. That's why he could win with such a huge margin.
Review of the Working of the Indian Constitution : Vajpayee formed a committee to review the constitution for better development. He explained most of the review comments. Vajpayee government implemented many. Because of the procedure of taking acceptance from Parliament, Vajpayee could not implement everything. The most powerful act, Right to Information Act (RTI) was proposed in that. Vajpayee implemented the basic version of the same, and Manmohan Singh enhanced it, and made RTI. This is one good chapter for understanding the constitution and policies. After reading that, I understood, from where Dr.Jayaprakash Narayana started getting the ideas. ;) (On a serious note, Dr.JP had many of these ideas even before, and he discussed few of those with Rajiv Gandhi.)
K.R.Narayanan : Advani says, then President K.R.Narayanan was very biased. Till Shankar Dayal Sharma, the president used to invite the largest party to form the government and then prove the majority. But, K.R.Narayanan refused to do that, and only after furnishing the letters of support from the parties in NDA, he invited to form the government. In many occasions, he acted with bias towards Congress party. But, Advani did not give many incidents about K.R.Narayanan and his biased nature. My understanding for not giving those reasons was, the incidents require in-depth understanding to decide what needs to be done. Without that, one may think that, K.R.Narayanan did correct, where as it is not the case. Advani might not wanted to fill many pages in explaining the issues in Bihar and at some random place to prove the biased nature of K.R.Narayanan.
Relationship with Pakistan : He explained the relationship between India and Pakistan in the tenure of different Prime Ministers. His interaction with Britain's High Commissioner became true in BJP's rule. He explained about Kashmir issue in detail. Jawaharlal Nehru made Sardar Vallabhai Patel as the Home Minister and asked to merge all the provinces except Kashmir to Indian Union. Nehru had taken the ownership of Kashmir, and he collapsed it, and we are still facing the problem with it. Had it been given to Sardar Patel then itself, we would not have faced any issue with Kashmir now. BJP could not revoke the special status to Kashmir, because few parties in NDA did not support that idea.
Pakistan Yatra : In 2005, Advani went to Pakistan. After visiting Jinnah's Mausoleum, he gave speech about Jinnah, and it became most controversial. Media published it as, Advani said, Jinnah is secular, and it did not publish the context. It created many problems for him from all the political parties. RSS criticized him for praising Jinnah. Other pseudo secular parties criticized him for praising Jinnah to get Muslim votes. Advani had to resign from President post after all those. Advani explained the context in his book. Jinnah was in Congress and he was a secular initially. Then, later on he moved to Muslim League and started fighting for separate country for Muslims. In the speech in Pakistan Assembly, Jinnah explained about Secular and Democracy. Advani explained all those incidents. But, our great media took only two words, Jinnah, and Secular, and started criticizing him.
The above topics are only few, and there are many more issues that Advani dealt in his book. He dedicated special chapters to Vajpayee, and Deendayal Upadhyaya, and wrote about them.
I expected to have more information about NDA's rule, and the changes they brought to India. I wanted to have information everything which is even remotely related to Advani in this book. But, without all these, the book has more than 950 pages. If he includes everything, it will be of multiple volumes. He included only the relevant information which one cannot find elsewhere easily.
After researching more about politics, I became a big fan of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. I have been a fan of Vajpayee since 1996. But, after learning about his policies, and the development that he had done to India, I became a big fan of him. Let's hope that L.K.Advani performs better than Vajpayee.