Book Review: Lal Bahadur Shastri by Anil Shastri and Pavan Choudary


ShashtriJiIn my due process of reviewing books, I follow a rigorous process to examine the contents of the book with readers in mind. So, I read and re-read the book to get a better understanding of author’s intentions and utility of a book for the readers. While reviewing this title, I was trying to see a balance understanding about this book. There were two distinct things that I had to deal with. These were the non-biographical and non self-help nature of this book. This book belongs to a different genre. It includes the memorable incidents and personality traits of Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, which made him the most revered politician of India. Including this, the book carries a gray shade box called “Wisdom Window” with each chapter. In this box, you will get your fair share of wisdom with which Lal Bahadur Shastri solved the difficult problems of Indian politics. The writer is Pavan Choudary, who has written the book by handpicking his personal interactions with Anil Shastri about ShastriJi.

The book is divided in three distinct parts: Values to inspire us at an individual level, Values to enhance our interpersonal relationships and Values vital for a healthy society. Under these three sections, this covers all major and minor incidents of ShastriJi’s career. There is an incident when ShastriJi applied for a loan for buying a car, when his total bank balance went short of 5000 rupees. It is a quotable incident in a time when Congress party to which he belonged for whole of his life, has gone short of words on accusations of involvement in Coalgate and disappearance of files from Prime Minister’s office. There are several incidents recorded in the book, when ShastriJi played a true troubleshooter for Congress party in times of Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru. The book also covers the incident when ShastriJi made T. T. Krishnamachari resign on allegations of misuse of his position in Punjab government. There is also a mention of other great incidents like 1962 war with Pakistan, Monday evening fast appeal from citizens on barred wheat supply from America and Kashmir issue.

The language of the book is simple and easy to understand. Here, the phrase ‘easy to understand’ stands for the use of simple words. However, the book has some loose ends at some places, where the respected editor, dipped in the heart-whelming stories of ShastriJi’s life, has missed some incomplete sentences and double gaps. Apart from minor issues, the book is beautifully crafted and edited.

My Experience as an Avid Reader: After a long time, I finished the book in a single sitting. I started it in morning after giving a short lesson on Business Environment to my sister. And, while reading the book, I loved the management skills of ShastriJi.  Till the movement, I have loved the leadership traits of Atal Bihari Bajpai to whom I have seen as a political hero. Now, I have another leader to learn.

50 Words Verdict: The book is good and worth reading if you have interest in reading about the founding fathers of this nation. If you are such reader then this book is like a treasure. It will give you great lessons of life, proven with the practice of ShastriJi, to achieve great feats.

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