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Lollipop Street: Why India Will Survive its Politicians

Tavleen Singh (Author)
Synopsis The intriguing title of this book derives from a crowded stretch of the highway from Mumbai’s airport into the city where a series of concrete lollipops have been constructed to serve as advertising billboards: a wasted aesthetic gesture—and an expensive one—to make in an expanse of slum. Our politicians have a gift for the useless gesture, and these lollipops serve as a metaphor for many others that have been offered to gullible voters since independence. Thus politicians have come and gone offering promises of drinking water, schools, health facilities, jobs and numerous other things to justify their election to power, but all they have left behind are collapsing foundation stones as markers to their intentions. In Lollipop Street, a series of hard-hitting and sometimes hilarious profiles of the leaders of contemporary India, Tavleen Singh explodes the myths that surround many of them and highlights the achievements of a few who may actually make a difference. There are profiles here of prime ministers, chief ministers and others who have have been or are in power, as also of icons from areas outside politics. Among those profiled are Inder Kumar Gujral, George Fernandes and Rabri Devi. There are also Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, M.F. Husain, Amjad Ali Khan, Adi Godrej and a host of other achievers in the arts, entertainment and the business world—people, the author avers, who are truly in touch with the spirit of the nation. It is they who have shown that India will survive despite the bumbling efforts of its leaders. ‘In the many years I have spent as a political journalist I have travelled often from one end of the country to another, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, as the phrase goes, and everywhere I have gone I have seen some version of Lollipop Street. Speedbreakers where no roads exist. Hoardings urging people to have only one child in villages where most of the inhabitants are illiterate. Signposts stuck in wastelands declaring them children’s parks. Boards sticking out of lakes announcing that the fencing around them has been built by the Forest Department. Who cares who builds the fences if the lakes remain polluted? But these are the sort of questions nobody asks.’
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About the author
In the spotlight

Tavleen Singh

Tavleen Singh is one of India’s most well-known journalists and political commentators. She is the author of India’s Broken Tryst, Durbar, Kashmir: A Tragedy of Errors, Lollipop Street: Why India Will Survive Its Politicians and Political and Incorrect. She writes weekly political columns in English and Hindi.

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Bibliographic information

Title Lollipop Street: Why India Will Survive its Politicians
Author Tavleen Singh
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1999
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0670888389
length 329p.