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On Leaders and Icons

 
Kuldip Nayar (Author)
Synopsis

In this frank and freewheeling narrative, Kuldip Nayar recounts his experiences of meeting many of the men and women who shaped the destiny of pre- and post-Independence India, revealing hitherto unknown aspects of their personalities and shedding light on many key events in the country. Was Nehru a secret dynast who had only his daughter Indira Gandhi in mind as his successor? What role did Nayar himself play in Lal Bahadur Shastri’s election as prime minster after Nehru’s death? Why did Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan—revered as the Frontier Gandhi—refer to Indians as ‘baniyas’? And who did Zulfikar Ali Bhutto think should be the prime minister of the entire subcontinent—India, Pakistan and Bangladesh?

Interspersed with these political reminiscences are delightful accounts of Meena Kumari’s encounter with Shastri on the sets of Pakeezah, and Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s flawless recitation of his great poetry even after consuming a full bottle of Black Dog whiskey.

Nayar does not fight shy of expressing his opinions—be it a comparison of JRD and Ratan Tata, advice for Narendra Modi, or reflections on the shape of Indo-Pak relations had Mahatma Gandhi and Mohammed Ali Jinnah lived longer.

In this absorbing and entertaining book—which he finished only weeks before he passed away—Kuldip Nayar writes in the grand old tradition of journalists who were not afraid to tell it like it is.

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About the author

Kuldip Nayar

Kuldip Nayar, born in Sialkot (Pakistan), was educated in Punjab University (Lahore), here he earned the degrees of BA (Hons), LLB. He did M.Sc. in journalism at the North-Western University in the US. The Gurunanak Dev University, Amritsar, also conferred on him a doctorate on philosophy. Kuldip Nayar is a renowned journalist, who has held several prestigious positions in newspapers like The Statesman, The Indian Express besides heading the United News of India (UNI), a premier news agency. Mr. Nayar was India’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. He was the correspondent of The Times, London, for 25 years. He retired from the Rajya Sabha in August 2003. HE has been chairperson of Citizens of Democracy (CFD), a human rights organization. Mr. Nayar is the recipient of several academic awards, including Lord Astor Award for Press Freedom, Haldi Ghati Award, Bhai Vir Singh, Munshi Prem Chand, Sarojini Naidu Harmony, Pride of India (America) and Shiromani Gurudwara, Freedom of Information. He is a member of the Hall of Fame on the North-Western University. He is a prolific writer and has numerous works on his credit, including Between the Lines, India: The Critical Years, India after Nehru, In Jail, Report on Afghanistan, Tragedy of Punjab, India House, The Martyr: Bhagat Singh’s Experiments in Revolution.

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Bibliographic information

Title On Leaders and Icons
Author Kuldip Nayar
Format Hardcover
Date published: 05.01.2019
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher Speaking Tiger
Language: English
isbn 9789388326537
length 184p.